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Category Archives: Polling

Google Forms as Feedback

googleformsAn important part of any teacher’s performance reflection is the feedback from the students themselves. Google Forms is an excellent way of collecting this information relatively painlessly for all involved. To set up a form is pretty simple, and you can use a form and individual questions as the basis for other questions. You can then send out the link to the survey to all your students. Once the survey has been answered you can view the output as a handy spreadsheet, and as a series of graphs.

Feedback on your teaching style, and your use of ICTs can be very helpful, and you can slip in some demographic questions about what devices your students are using, what their interests are and so on, to help you get a clearer picture of your class.

You can of course also use Google Forms for collecting content-based feedback on any section of work as well. A very handy tool indeed!

You will need a Google account. Once you have logged in, click on the Apps icon and select Drive. Then click on the red Create button and select form. It is fairly intuitive from there.

Here is a short video from the Google Youtube Channel showing you how to do it.

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Kahoot! is a Hoot!

kahoot2I don’t particularly like quizzes. The snobbish English teacher in me hankers after meaty critical essays or compositions worthy of Steinbeck or Faulkner! But they can be a fun way to revise some quick content, and they certainly can stimulate that all elusive student engagement factor if made interactive and taken online, then gamified and given a competitive edge! That’s exactly what a free web-based application called Kahoot! does!

You need to sign up for an account, but can then easily set up a quiz by typing in a question, selecting possible answers and indicating which is correct. You can add images to your questions, and even videos, although this facility is currently in beta version. Once saved, your quiz is posted online with a pin number. Students can access the quiz using a pin on their laptops, tablets or phones. they give a user name, but do not have to sign in. They then take the quiz (which is timed) and receive scores, competing against others.

kahoot

The display shows whether they are correct or not and shows what other students guessed. The colourful displays and the use of a count-down timer is pretty engaging, giving a game-like sense missing in many polling or quiz applications.

What looks promising also is the ability to make quizzes public, and share them, allowing access to a considerable library of quizzes. I took one created by another teacher, but the possibilities of getting students to create quizzes for each other is exciting. Once the link is shared anyone can take the quiz.

I seldom use quizzes as a quick feedback mechanism at the end of a lesson – usually because I’m running out of time! I like them as an introduction though, to find out what the class already knows, and to focus attention on the teaching point. Where a significant number of students disagree about an answer, there is an excellent way in to a lesson. As part of a flipped classroom, it is also an excellent way of revising content accessed outside the classroom, and ensuring that everyone has adequately covered the material.

In my own classrooms, though, not everyone has a smart phone or tablet. Most do, but concerns about equity have meant that I have only ever tried this exercise in a computer room, where all had access to desktops. Doing quizzes in pairs though, might ensure that all have access.

 

Twoodle Polls

I recently came across a powerful application which has allowed me to use Twitter to set up a polling page on my class Moodle – hence Twoodle (Twitter + Moodle) Polls. It is fairly easy to set up, once you have grabbed the code from SAP Web 2.0 and pasted it into an HTML page. You simply use the options available on the chart which displays the votes as they are cast to set up your options. Students then vote by sending a tweet @votebytweet with the option number and the topic term in the tweet. The results display on the Moodle page in real-time, and can be accessed from home, or on a mobile device, or displayed on the Interactive White Board.

This makes for quite a powerful tool because you can set up a poll in a few minutes, and the poll can be taken in class, or before or after the class. This makes it useful with a flipped classroom situation. If a poll is taken before the class it can form the basis for in-class discussion, for example. Or it can be used as part of the reflection process.

From the student point of view the poll is easy to take using a simple tweet. Students seem to enjoy the process, and are greatly taken by seeing the graph change as they vote. You can set up the duration of the poll, keeping it to a single day, or over a two-week period, making it a flexible tool to use.

Getting the Code

To grab the code you need to go to http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/powerpoint-twitter-tools/ and download the PowerPoint slide. Then go to http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/powerpoint-twitter-tools/instructions/#twittervote and follow the on-screen instructions.

Very basically, you open the slide and run it in slide-show mode (F5). When you get to the Twitter Voting slide, click on the code icon at the bottom right hand side of the screen. This will open up a box with the HTML code in it, which you can tweak a bit, or paste into an HTML page as is!

 

Poll Everywhere

I have blogged before about using Moodle to set up Choices polls, but if you don’t use Moodle, or if you prefer to use other tools, a good solution is Poll Everywhere, a web-based tool which allows you, for free, to set up a poll, which you can download as a PowerPoint slide, or in web format. This can be displayed for a class, and the students can take the poll via a website, or use twitter @poll followed by the code for each particular choice. This is then collated live, and displays as a chart in your PowerPoint presentation in real-time (twitter willing!).

This is a very powerful tool, and takes very little effort to set up. it is certainly well-worth experimenting with. You can set up a multiple choice style poll, or a poll which asks a question, and takes text messages from twitter and displays them on the slide as shown below.

All in all, it seems to me that this tool is something every teacher should have in their arsenal. It is free to use, easy to set up, and interactive. It is a great tool for the classroom, and for giving presentations as well. I give it a five thumbs up!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Polling, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 Tools

 

All in a Moodle

One of the functions of my Moodle that I’d not explored much before is the Choice activity. I used it in the Amazing Race that I blogged about last year, and it suddenly struck me how powerful a tool this really is. In the Amazing Race we used the Choice Activity to allow students to vote for the group presentation that they liked the best. We were then able to display the results of the vote, and declare a winner on the spot, obviating the need for any lengthy post-task paper-work! What a pleasure!

I have been giving some thought about how I might apply this activity to my regular classes, and it seems to me that the Choice module on Moodle might well be used as a regular replacement for polling hardware. Because the choices are so easy to set up, they can be used in any lesson without much preparation, and allow for students to give instant feedback on any issue.

One of the things I’d like students to give feedback on is on presentations made by groups in class. Using the Choice Activity to allow students to grade their peers’ work seemed a pretty neat idea.

There were 5 groups presenting, and the idea was that the other groups would all vote on a grade to give them. I set up 5 Choice Activities then, each one allowing for four possible grades to be awarded. The rest of the class could then vote on a score to be awarded for each presentation, with the results being instantly available on the screen.

What attracted me to this set of procedures was firstly that it involved no paperwork, and in my experience paperwork has always been the bug-bear in setting up peer assessment opportunities. Secondly it was transparent, a group would immediately know which score it had been awarded, and know that it reflected a peer assessment. But perhaps most importantly of all, the whole thing took only ten minutes to set up, less time than it would have taken to type up and print peer assessment forms, let alone tabulate the results!

I think that I will be using this module quite a lot in the future!

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Moodle, Polling

 

Moodle To The Rescue!

I have to say that as the years go by I am coming to appreciate my Moodle more and more! A case in point was the Amazing Race cross-curricular task that I wrote about recently. I had posted the task description and a link to upload the finished assignment on the school Moodle, and this in itself was tremendously useful, but as the day wore on, it suddenly occurred to us that we would not have enough time to administer a voting procedure to select the best designed race, which would discouraging groups from voting for their own group.

I had never used the Choice module on Moodle before, but it provided a fantastic solution. By setting up a Choice in which the girls had to select which group they felt had produced the best designed Race, we were able to administer the vote within a minute, and display the result on the white-board. The selection also indicated who had voted for each choice, discouraging anyone from voting for themselves. We could not had monitored this in the few minutes available, so the threat of the pan-opticon was needed to ensure we did not end up with a tie! As it happened, one group walked away with half the votes so there was little doubt as to the will of the class.

The electronic vote rounded out the exercise in a way which would not have been possible by hand, and although not revolutionary in itself, it shows just one more functionality which makes using Moodle in your classroom that much more attractive. It was not something I had thought of before, but the Choice module can easily be used to replace those hand-held polling machines which are often used in the wired classroom for a variety of purposes.

The choices are easy to set up, and it strikes me, more resilient than using polling devices, which tend to get lost. But, as always, the beauty of the Moodle solution is its price – no need to buy more kit! And in these recessionary times that means a lot!

 
 
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