Engagement is the key to a successful live online class.
The WebRoom polling feature is a great way to increase engagement.
Here are the top seven ways that successful online teachers use the polling feature.
- As an “ice breaker”: This helps students start talking and get to know each other. It also lets students know that the lesson will be interactive and that, even if they are shy, they can participate by answering the poll questions.
- Introduce a topic or activity: For example, you can ask students how they feel about a topic of the lesson, or how much they know about it.
- Provides useful information about students’ preparation for the class. For example, you can create a poll about student’s beliefs, ideas, or pre-exisiting knowledge. The answers will give you an idea of what students already know and think about a topic. This will help you know what you need to focus on and how to adjust the lesson.
- Get useful information about students’ understanding the topic so that you can adjust your lesson plan. At the beginning of the session, you can evaluate the students’ understanding of the homework. During the session, you assess the students’ understanding of the lecture. This can help you know how to adjust the class. At the end of the session, ask the students to evaluate the lesson. Asking students directly is not always effective because some students will feel uncomfortable telling you what they don’t understand. This problem is eliminated with polling because the students can answer anonymously. For example, after the poll, have a discussion with the students about the answer results. This can help the teacher and students think about new examples and materials to make the topic more easily understood.
- Help students evaluate and focus their learning. The poll questions can give students a clue about where to begin or where to focus their attention. For example, ask students to make a prediction about what they are going to learn. Most students want to do well. Polling questions can provide them with instant feedback about how they are doing or what they need to do. Even a wrong answer can be powerful information as most students will want to correct that error in their understanding.
- Stimulate curiosity and keep the class interesting. Most students can only focus in class for 5 to10 minutes at a time. Asking polling questions provides a change which stimulates the mind and brings the students back to attention. For example, ask a question, have the student answer it and then show them the answers later in the lesson.
- Increase student participation, because polls are anonymous. Typically, during a live class only a small number of student will volunteer to answer a question. However, because polling is anonymous, it encourages 100% participation. In addition, because there is no risk in answering a polling question students are more honest with their answers. Students who are shy feel will feel more comfortable participating and answering a poll because it’s anonymous.