Purposeful Polling

Educators can use polling to get a quick read of student comprehension in order to build strategic groups, provide focused support when needed, and also obtain a snapshot of the need of the “virtual room.” Polling can be used for content mastery as well as understanding students’ social-emotional needs. Polls can be formal or informal to really understand each student’s needs and levels of mastery.

Teacher attending to students online

Key drivers around effective learning:

  • Targeted and Relevant
    Targeted and Relevant

    Differentiated pathways and materials

  • Actively Engaging
    Actively Engaging

    Knowledge activation and reflection

  • Growth Oriented
    Growth Oriented

    Progress monitoring and reporting

man presenting

The Why

Teachers need to make sure they include formative (informal and formal) assessments throughout instruction to gauge students’ level of mastery. This information can provide insights that help teachers build strategic small groups and determine which supports specific students need. Teachers can also quickly address misconceptions in a whole-group session if the poll reveals a significant portion of the class has not mastered a concept. Being in a remote setting versus an in-person setting can also make it more challenging to gauge how students are doing socially-emotionally, especially if students have their cameras off. Polling students to ask how they are feeling at different points in class can give insights into the overall mood of the class and which individuals need follow up support.

The Feature:

Polling for Meetings

As the host, teachers can also download a full report of the poll questions so they can see what answer each student chose.

  • During the Zoom session, click on Polls and select the poll to launch.

  • All students will get a pop up that asks them to answer the question(s).

  • As students answer the questions, teachers are able to see the live results of which percentage of students selected each answer.

  • Teachers decide when to end the poll by clicking End Poll. Teachers can also share the results with the class.

The polling feature allows teachers to embed polls that students answer throughout a Zoom session. Polls can be made during the session or made ahead of time and launched during the session.

Survey on a Zoom call
Teacher and student

The Implementation

Checking for students’ understanding throughout a lesson is critical to make sure that students are mastering the content and for teachers to provide the appropriate support and adjustments to help students achieve mastery. In order to strategically implement Purposeful Polling it is helpful to:

  • Review the lesson plan and see where there are times throughout the lesson to pause and gauge students’ understanding.

  • Write the questions ahead of time so they are ready to launch during class. Although in-the-moment polls can also be helpful, but likely take more time to launch.

  • Intersperse polls throughout the lesson. This is a great way to engage students throughout a virtual class.

  • After sharing a poll, share the results with the class and use that to spark a discussion. Ask a student who chose an answer to explain why they chose it and have
    others agree or disagree with the student. Students can choose to do this in the chat
    box or by raising their hand to share their response orally.

  • Reflect on the data. If teachers notice that a significant portion of students are getting the incorrect answer, they can use that as a moment to pause and reteach. Teachers also are able to download the results of the polls and see what responses each student chose. If there are a small number of students who have the incorrect answer, teachers can save this information and pull these students for a breakout room for remediation and/or provide them materials and activities to complete that address their misunderstanding.

Polls can also be used to check in on the social-emotional state of students by developing a poll asking how students are feeling (sample responses include focused, distracted, happy, sad, bored). Teachers can use this poll throughout class several times to get a sense of the mood of the class and to adjust as needed. Teachers can also use these results to reach out to specific students who express consistent negative moods to check in with them and/or connect them to resources like a guidance counselor.

Developed with The Learning Accelerator




The Learning Accelerator