I wanted to tell you about a fantastic teaching resource I have been using called PollEverywhere. I just started using it in my music classes this year and have found it to be incredibly easy to use and helpful.
Many professors have used remote “clickers” in their classes to quiz students and take attendance, but these clickers usually are purchased by the school and are not always available. PollEverywhere is a free resource that allows students to use their cell phones as a clicker.
First, you set up a free account as a professor. Then you create a new poll by typing in the poll question. Then, you choose what you want the answers to be (the answers can be open-ended or have as many answers as you would like, even pictures). Here’s a screenshot below.
Then you show the poll on the screen and students send a text of their answer to the number on the screen. Their answer shows up almost immediately and the answers are compiled automatically in real-time.
I have found this to be really helpful with my lecture classes. I can ask the students for feedback on a particular lecture or teaching approach, or I can quiz them at the end of the class to see how much they have learned. Because it’s anonymous, I can get everybody to give their input.
While there is no cost for the basic account, you only get to have polls of 40 students or less at a time (if you have more than 40, you can split the class in half and then clear the results for the other half). Also, text message fees apply for anybody sending the text, though that’s becoming less of an issue these days. And I have also found it helpful to limit the polls to the beginning or end of class because students are tempted to use their cell phones once they’re out.
I have yet to find much use for them in choir rehearsal, but if you are teaching a non-choir class, I think PollEverywhere is helpful for a large number of professors.