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Polling Tools

Polls are quick, informal quizzes or surveys that can be used in your classes to gauge student understanding at various points during the learning process. Best used as a formative assessment tool (ie: not counted for a grade), polls can help you reinforce the material you cover in your lectures. Some considerations for using polls:

  • Start off a lecture with a poll that recaps material students read prior to class or from a previous class session
  • Use a poll at checkpoints during lectures to assess student understanding of new material or connections to previous material
  • End class with a poll as an exit ticket to see what students took away from class

With this data, you can then gain valuable insights as to where your students are thriving and struggling, both as an entire class and, with some tools, at a student-by-student level, allowing for interventions when students are having difficulty understanding material before a higher-stakes assessment, such as a project or exam. This also doubles as a metacognitive tool for your students, giving them a chance to realize where gaps in their own knowledge may be in a low-stakes environment.

Below is a summary of a number of popular polling tools that you can use in any synchronous class (face-to-face, hybrid, or online), comparing the various features they offer at the free tier. All of the tools listed are web-based platforms and mobile-friendly; students are able to join from any internet-enabled device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.). At this time, MSU does not have a subscription to any polling tool. MSU’s Zoom subscription, however, does allow access to polling features used within the conferencing tool and is shown here for comparison.

Polling Tool Comparison (Free Versions)

Kahoot Poll Everywhere Mentimeter Slido Socrative Zoom (licensed)
Max # of Players 10 (40 if using “School” as the workplace instead of “Higher Ed”) 40 participants Unlimited 100 50 300
Max # of Questions Unlimited Unlimited 2 questions (Note: Allows an unlimited number of “quiz competition” slides) 3 5 50
Mobile App iOS and Android iOS and Android iOS and Android iOS and Android iOS and Android iOS and Android
QR Code Join No No Yes Yes No No
Reporting Capability* Full reports

Overall summary, Question-by-question, Student-by-student

Limited reports*

Overall summary*, Question-by-question*, Student-by-student*

Limited reports*

Overall summary*, Question-by-question*,

Student-by-student*

Limited reports*

Overall summary, Question-by-question, Student-by-student

Full reports

Overall summary, Question-by-question, Student-by-student

Limited reports*

Overall summary, Student-by-student

Accessibility**  Yes – Kahoot Yes – Poll Everywhere Yes – Mentimeter No – Slido No – Socrative Yes – Zoom
Integrations (PPT/Gslides) n/a PPT, Gslides PPT PPT, Gslides n/a n/a
Types of questions Multiple Choice, True/False, Image Answer Option, Math Equation Editor, Video/Audio Questions Multiple Choice, True/False, Freeform/Open Ended, Word Cloud, Ranking, Rating, Clickable Image/Map, 2×2 matrix, Image Answer Option Multiple Choice, True/False, Multiple Answer, Freeform/Open Ended, Word Cloud, Scales, Ranking, Clickable Image/Map, Competition/Quiz, Q&A, 2×2 matrix, Image Answer Option Multiple Choice, True/False, Multiple Answer, Freeform/Open Ended, Word Cloud, Ranking, Rating, Competition/Quiz, Q&A Multiple Choice, True/False, Freeform/Open Ended Multiple Choice, True/False, Multiple Answer, Freeform/Open Ended, Matching, Fill-in-Blank, Ranking, Rating Scale (Licensed)

* “Limited reports” refers to tools where (at the free tier) reports are not available via a dedicated “Reports” tab, but can be found segmented in other locations or may otherwise be of lower quality (ie: not as granular or easily accessible as full reports)

** Accessibility statements are generalized in this table. Most report WCAG 2.1 compliance, but please review each tool’s accessibility capabilities for features such as alternative text, screen reader functionality, color blindness, etc.