Poll your students online, for free!

Mar 28, 2006 by

I am completely at a loss for why I didn’t pick up this nifty little website from the forum sooner and blog about it. Todd, our thoughtful and resourceful Language Arts moderator, found an amazing site that lets you add a simple web poll to any blog post, website, or sidebar without having to login, subscribe to a service, or learn how to write code. You can customize the color, number of poll choices, and even prevent people from answering multiple times from the same computer.

While it’s marketed towards bloggers, it appears that the javascript that the Blogpoll website provides can be copied and pasted into any webpage. Todd’s suggestion, which would require that you maintain your own classroom webpage, is to post a periodic “check up” for your class. Perhaps use Blogpoll as a tool to focus students on what they learned the previous day as they walk into class. They can sit down, answer the question (or two or three if you choose) before starting class, and without having to ask for raised hands or checking homework you can tell by looking at the poll how many students understood the assignment or are “up to speed” on a particular subject.

Taking the idea a step farther, you could even have students use the tool to create their own poll for the rest of the class as a trivia or mystery game. Elementary students could use it to create a “guess who I am” question by providing short clues in the question and then posting the poll with choices of student names (just first names) on your classroom website. Older students in middle school or high school could use the tool to create review questions and short quizzes for one another. A small group or the whole class could take the quiz to see which topics the class or study group feels confident on, and which material they need to study or work on harder for a test or other examination. I’ve included a couple of quick polls that I just created in 5 minutes to give everyone a chance to see the Blogpoll tool in action. The step by step process takes you through an easy form to fill out the question, answers, options, and then the code to copy and paste:

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3 Comments

  1. I used BlogPoll for some of the same type things, too. It’s a cool tool!

    I am also using SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang to conduct surveys both by my students and me. I’m having my students create a poll for a class we collaborate with in Nebraska. It’s a great way to communicate with ideas ranging from social attitudes to academic questions.
    They have free versions and both are similar, yet different. The Art Guy, Aaron Smith, did a great podcast reviewing both. You might want to check it out.
    http://academicaesthetic.blogspot.com/2006/03/academic-aesthetic-podcast-56-surveys.html

  2. Tom

    I should have been using that as well. I tried a couple of php based polling packages and wasn’t too pleased with them. This is nice and simple.

    Have you noticed that Steve Dembo has linked to you of the Discovery Educator Network’s page? That ought to bring in some traffic.

  3. Ben

    It’s amazing that in just less than a year we’ve already created a large enough site that we can;t keep up with all of the resources. It’s terribly exciting, but it makes me wonder just what will happen in another year.

    I had noticed that Steve had made mention of the site on the teach42 blog he maintains, but I didn’t know he had posted it on the main Discovery Educator’s Network blog. I feel bad, as the true credit should go to Todd, since he posted about it originally on the forum 🙁

    On a side note, I’m hoping to meet Steve at a conference this May here in Michigan that I’ll be presenting at. I’m pretty intimidated to be presenting with heavy weights like Steve around, but I’m excited to meet him, so it should be an interesting experience.

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