Skip to content

Polling in a B-Law class

October 28, 2009

Remember those classes where one or two students seemed to volunteer to answer every question? In Brian Levey’s business law class, everyone gets to answer lots of questions. Brian was trying to avoid relying too much on lectures, particularly since he felt students might view some of the material as less-than-exciting. After attending a workshop on polling technology he decided to give it a try.

With the help of Kevin Abbott (OIT) , Professor Levey began to use Poll Everywhere to pose questions that students answer in a text message or web browser. They use the cell phones and laptops they already own, rather than purchasing clickers. In Brian’s class, all of the responses are anonymous and results are available immediately. That anonymity goes right along with with my own feelings. I dislike the idea of using polling for attendance and quizzing, because I feel it comes to be seen as a punitive tool.

Brian Levey is convinced that polling has improved student engagement in his class, even though the novelty has worn off and students are less excited by the technology per se. He also notes that he has experienced very few technical problems. The downside? Prof. Levey thinks that now he may be relying too much on polling, to the neglect of other types of interaction. I say that’s just part of the normal process of growth as a teacher – and it’s great that he cares!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 4:08 pm

    Wieman has found that interactive teaching using, among other tools, classroom response systems improves student learning. Our own alternative to clickers, LectureTools, has been shown to increase student engagement by U-M’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

    I encourage any instructor who teaches either a large class or a class with emphasis on discussion to try a classroom response system. In almost every case, teaching with one of these systems will increase engagement and participation. You can get a scope of what every student is thinking, even those who are too shy to speak up, because answers remain anonymous to other students (and sometimes even the instructor).


  1. Five lonely pieces from the archives « NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s