EPIC Innovations: Real-Time Polling
Instructor Name: Bonnie Goff
Course Title: Introduction to Developmental Psychology
General Category of Innovation: Engaging Students During Large Lectures
Description: The instructor punctuates 75-minute lectures with 6-8 points at which students engage in a class poll by selecting their response to a multiple-choice question. This can be done with technology (e.g., an online polling app, iClickers) or a structured show of hands (as in the video). The instructor pivots instructionally, based on the poll results.
Rationale for Innovation
One observation that led to this innovation was that sitting through 75 uninterrupted minutes of me talking is not the best way for students to learn. I also noticed that during long lectures where students weren’t actively engaged, I had no information about how their learning was unfolding in real time: did I need to slow down, speed up, provide another example, etc.? Also, after teaching this class multiple times, I began to notice key points where lots of students struggled, so I was on the lookout for ways to support them at those tricky points.
Intended Effect of Innovation
One goal of this innovation was to get better, more frequent information (for both me and the students, themselves) about how well they were following along. I wanted there to be regular points when I could say, “great – now I know what you know and you know what you know” and we could use that information to move forward in the lesson.
Resources for Faculty Considering this Innovation
- “6 Tips for Creating Engaging Active Learning Experiences Online”
This flier suggests several uses of real-time polling.
- “CEILS Teaching Guide: Implementing Peer Instruction Using Polling Tools (Strategies for Large Classrooms)”
Link to https://ceils.ucla.edu/using-polling-tools-and-other-interactive-technology-to-foster-interactive-classrooms/
This UCLA resource provides comprehensive guidance on how to use real-time polling in large classes, including several options for which technology platform to use.
- “In-Class Polling”
Link to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MNhToC8Q9-5OfHjuQh1givvMmwCuC1Vj/view
This UCLA resource includes rationale and options for real-time polling, as well as a comparison chart for different technology platforms.
- “Which polling method should I use for Peer Instruction?”
Link to https://www.physport.org/recommendations/Entry.cfm?ID=93287
This site lists advantages and disadvantages of several different technology platforms for real-time polling.
Research that Supports this Innovation
- Corpuz, E., & Rosalez, R. (2010, July 21-22). The use of a web-based classroom interaction system in introductory physics classes. Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10401&DocID=1873
- Crouch, C., Watkins, J., Fagen, A., & Mazur, E. (2007). Peer Instruction: Engaging students one-on-one, all at once. In Research-Based Reform of University Physics (1). https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=4990&DocID=241
- Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410–8415. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111