As a trainer of some corporate training courses, I have been researched how I could make the classroom environment more engaging, interactive, and collaborative. Thanks to the dozens of social web technologies, we have variety of tools available for our classroom training. We have more millennials who are very accustomed to public social web services and it is definitely an opportunity for most of the trainers to enhance the level of audience participation by harnessing the power of social web tools. I would like to introduce a series of my own facilitating experience in the context of several corporate training programs. I learned and observed the live working example of these tools from Social Learning Bootcamp 2010, Social Media for Trainers, and Directory of E-Learning Tools. Of course, I would like to share my own practices which were tested several times in the real classroom situation. The very first one of this series is: How to collect real-time feedback from your audience.
There are some traditional Classroom Performance Systems (CPS) in the market (for example, CPS student response system). Those CPSs require some hardware and software combination to collect the audience feedback. Usually the trainer needs to distribute a remote controller (student response system) to each participant to collect individual feedback to the trainer’s hardware system. There is a much better way! You don’t need any hardware, software installation, no special device for the participants. Poll Everywhere is one of the most famous synchronous response collection services on the web.
You can create your own poll (whether it is a free text poll or multiple choice poll) without signing up. Of course, once you signed up, you can manage your polls and reuse it and have several more options. The best part of PollEverywhere is there are many different ways to send response. Participants in the classroom can send their response by:
- Sending text message to a designated phone number
- Submitting a code in Poll4.com website using their PC or smartphone
- Submit a code mentioning @poll4 in their Twitter account
When Poll Everywhere receives a response, the results are updated on the animated charts (for multiple choice polls) or the text wall (for free text polls). The trainer may decide to project the live results on screen like this:
The free version of Poll Everywhere gives us up to 30 responses quota for each poll. This 30 response limitation is still working well for mid sized class. I used this several times in different classes and different purposes: a mutual evaluation of team presentation, a simple question or quiz, a simple survey of user preference, and a free floating idea collection. It is very powerful for the poll creator and extremely easy for the respondents. Learners and I enjoyed the time when the live chart changes as more participants respond in real time!
Remember that as a trainer and poll creator, you have to go to http://polleverywhere.com and create a poll, and the audience can respond at http://poll4.com. It’s quite simple but quite effective to make your event or class more engaging and fun!