SIP 1.10: Polling to Expand Student Participation

Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?

Getting a large group of students involved in class interaction can be a challenge. Some students participate willingly while others are more reluctant.

Take a SIP of this: Polling to Expand Student Participation

Interactive technologies can provide a platform that will encourage broader interaction. Through the web-based technologies listed below instructors can pose questions and receive real-time answers. Responses can be projected for the class to see or kept private.

Although each product has distinct features they offer options to pose open- or closed-ended questions tThis is a picture of dozens of students in a large lecture hall. All of the students have computers out in front of them and there are large screens around the whole room.hat require single- or multi-word answers. Three present the responses in a linear fashion and one creates a word cloud.

Students can respond via mobile phone, Ipad or tablet, or computer. Questions may be presented online, embedded in a website or included in PowerPoint. Instructors have the ability to export answers for future use. Free accounts are available for each.


Here are some ideas for encouraging class wide participation and interaction:

  • Pose a quick question at the beginning of class to get students thinking about the topic for the day
  • Create a word cloud for group brainstorming
  • Use an open-ended higher level thinking question as a way to encourage broad response as part of class discussion
  • Pose a closed or open-ended question to check for understanding at the end of class
  • Ask questions to be answered individually or as small groups
  • Have students use the answers generated by the class to synthesize or continue to explore ideas after the lesson
  • Invite students to develop and manage their own questions

Still thirsty? Take another SIP of Polling to Expand Student Participation




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