With polling, classroom learning transforms from from static to dynamic. Students are no longer listening passively or engaging in distracting behaviors. They are actively participating and providing feedback. In this manner, dialogue can be established between students and instructors, as well as between peers. In addition, classroom dialogue need not be constrained to the curriculum. Faculty are encouraged to poll students about what they are learning in the moment. In this way, adjustments can be made “live” to teaching and learning as desired. For example, a quick poll to inquire whether students feel the pace is too quick or too slow, and/or how many would like to spend 10 minutes revisiting a difficult concept may prove useful.
Faculty feedback on polling gathered at Cornell indicates that use of polling leads to increased student engagement.
- Transformation from passive listening to active participation
- The role of anonymity – students more likely to contribute and to communicate with integrity
- Question construction is key and relates to learning outcomes
Furthermore, polling encourages students to alter the way they approach learning. Compare:
Here are some ideas for using polling technology in your teaching:
Below are a few web sites that also provide ideas and best practices:
- The Active Class: Blog of Clicker-specific posts and presentations from many instructors. Sponsored by i>clicker.
- The Peer Instruction Network: A social network for innovative educators developed by Harvard University researchers Eric Mazur and Julie Schell
- Turn to Your Neighbor: Blog by The Peer Instruction Network
- Science Geek Girl: Blog of Clicker-specific posts and presentations from one instructor
- Best Practices: Sponsored by i>clicker