Friday, October 21, 2016

Options for Cloud-based Polling

While "clickers" have been a staple of the large lecture hall at colleges for years, in the last few years, there has been a pronounced shift from a physical device to the cloud. With the great majority of students now coming to class with some combination of laptop, smartphone, and tablet, there are several companies providing polling options that leverage these devices. Even companies like iClicker and Turning Point, which have long specialized in producing physical polling devices, are jumping into the web arena. For the purposes of this blog, we've highlighted four different options for entirely web-based polling.

Socrative, a product of MasteryConnect, prides itself on providing fun, effective classroom engagement. Featuring a simple, clean interface, the free version allows instructors to create and administer either a standard quiz, an exit ticket, or a gamified, team-based challenge called the Space Race. Quizzes can consist of a multiple choice, true/false, or short answer, with more options available in the paid "Pro" version. On the back end, it features several styles of reporting to give the instructor insight into both class and individual performance.

Top Hat may very well be the most robust web-based polling system currently on the market. Whereas most polling software is meant to assess understanding in class, Top Hat aims to be a central hub for all student assessment. Instructors can launch quizzes in class, or assign questions for homework or review. Another unique feature is the ability of the instructor to present slides over the app, effectively providing a student the opportunity to view live content remotely. However, all of this comes at a great cost, as students must each pay for a $36 a year license to access the software.

Pear Deck is a web-based application for enabling participants to follow along with interactive presentations on their personal devices and respond in real-time. Presenters sign in with their Google Apps account and can either create slides from scratch or import Google Slides presentation, adding interactive elements such as multiple choice questions, drawings, and  images. Additionally, presenters can isolate individual answers or even display multiple user responses overlayed on top of each other. Designed for K-12, Pear Deck’s features are limited, but the interface is designed to be clear, intuitive, and engaging for users of all ages and learning levels.

PollEverywhere is a longtime player in online polling. A presenter has an address from which their presentation may be broadcast. Users may respond to polls by visiting the site using a smartphone, tablet, or computer or, for certain types of questions, by SMS text (standard data rates may apply). There are six different polling question types which may be distributed as either real-time Q&A or as a survey to be taken by users on their own time. The free version allows for up to forty participants, while the full version includes additional features such as registered participants, detailed reporting, increased moderation features, and a larger number of users.

No comments:

Post a Comment