Educational Technology Services recommends several web-based classroom response systems that operate on a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model. Most have free options, with modest subscriptions sometimes required for large courses. Such systems can support a wide range of question types (e.g., short answer, numerical reponse, multiple choice, etc.), but students must own a compatible device to participate. All three of the services listed below can be accessed from any device with a web-browser (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop), and Poll Everywhere offers the additional option to submit responses via text message. All of the options below allow responses to be exported as Excel files for easy grading.
- Google Forms (always free) offers a simple but flexible polling system, with a wide variety of question and answer types.
- Poll Everywhere (free up to 40 respondents) provides a similarly diverse range of question types, with the option to submit answers offline via text.
- Piazza (always free) offers only multiple choice and short answer questions for real-time polling, but adds a web-based interface for class discussion.
Note: While we are happy to consult with you about the best polling option for your course, Bryn Mawr does not provide technical support for these services; see the companies' websites for tutorials, documentation, and help.
What happened to the Clickers?
LITS (Library & Information Technology Services) no longer maintains a loan pool of i>clicker2 base stations and response units for classroom use. We have found that the online systems above provide an easier and more flexible solution for the occasional, anonymous polling that this pool was used for. However, faculty that wish to continue using clickers for in-class polling can arrange for students to rent or buy response units through the Campus Bookstore. Contact Jim Huang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Pedagogy of Classroom Response Systems
The following articles provide useful strategies for using classroom response systems to engage learners, improve comprehension and facilitate discussion.