In poll steps learners submit their response to a question, can see all responses from the cohort and enter a lively discussion.
How to add a poll
The process is straightforward for an educator or member of the course team. In Course Creator, first find an activity where a poll would be suitable:
- Add a new Poll Step and provide a title, question and at least two answers.
- Set feedback for learners, and any guidance for the resulting discussion.
Watch the video below to see how a poll is constructed.
We wanted polls to be simple, enjoyable, designed for learning and contribute to the discussion so we built them around a few principles:
- Polls are single answer, multiple choice questions with a minimum of two and a maximum of six answers.
- Learners see all results after submitting their response; results are anonymous but never hidden from learners.
- Learners can choose to skip to see the results.
- Taking part is simple and quick on all devices.
- Questions and results are shown in the same step.
- Once a response is made, learners cannot change their mind.
- Results also provide educator feedback and lead into the discussion.
- Educators cannot participate in polls and can always see results.
- Polls should be to support learning, not research.
Tips to make a great poll
Below are a selection of effective ways polls can be used to promote learning in a course:
- Concepts – answers and distractors are based on common misconceptions. This helps provide a stimulus for peer discussion where learners are encouraged to comment on their own conceptual understanding of the question or the other responses.
- Application – questions provide a situation or task where prior learning is applied to a real situation or context.
- Critical thinking – where more than one answer is correct and learners are asked to analyse and evaluate their prior learning and to engage in discussion around their chosen response.
- Learner perspectives – where there is no correct answer. Learners can share views, opinions or experiences on their perspectives around the topic.
- Debate – learners can choose a particular side/angle/issue (such as legal, ethical or moral) and use their choice within comments for a debate. The poll adds value by showing the distribution of perspectives in the results.
- Peer learning – learners chose an answer response to a question. On review of all responses the resulting discussion encourages peer dialogue around the topic / concept – with no direct response from the educator. Learners are then shown an identical poll which typically shows measurable shifting towards the correct answer.
- Change over time – similar to peer learning – multiple identical polls can be used to ask the same question pre/post a learning activity (or segment of course). This shows how learners choices change as they learn and engage with other’s perspectives.
- Recollection – learners are challenged to recite facts, concepts, approaches or techniques which, at best, can promote student memory. This isn’t optimal and may barely promote discussion. We’re not advocating recollection as an effective polling method.