Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere logo

On this Page

Overview

Poll Everywhere is a web-based polling tool that accepts responses via text message, web browser, or mobile app–no clickers required! This tool is available to all instructors at the University of Pennsylvania under a University-wide license.

Learn more about polls, surveys, and other activity types.

How Does It Work?

Instructors, TAs, or staff create a poll in their Poll Everywhere account (navigate to Access Poll Everywhere to request an account). Once an activity is published, students can respond to activities through text messages or a response link. Activity results appear in customizable formats (graph, bar chart, word cloud, etc.). Reports can be run to manage and review participation, responses, and grading.

How Can I Use it?

Poll Everywhere can be used in a variety of ways to increase student engagement, assess student learning, and facilitate course management:

  • In-person, online, and hybrid learning.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous activities.
  • Assessment (diagnostic, formative, summative, low-stakes).
  • Course management (attendance, grading, reporting).

Access Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere accounts are available to all Penn faculty and staff. Students should refer to the Poll Everywhere for Students guide. To request a University-licensed account, contact your Local Support Provider or submit a request to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu

If you have created an account using the free version of Poll Everywhere, please provide your Local Service Provider with the email address used to create your free account. The same email address is needed to create a University-licensed account so that the polls created through your free account will be added to your licensed account.

If Poll Everywhere is being used in a course, students do not need to request an account. Students will receive an invitation through the Canvas integration or URL provided by the instructor. For more information, see Poll Everywhere for Students.

The University license to Poll Everywhere offers these additional features:

  • Unlimited poll responses.
  • Live moderation of incoming responses.
  • Create and export reports.
  • Restrict responses to registered participants (see Sync Activities in Canvas for more details).

Considerations for Successful Use of Poll Everywhere

While Poll Everywhere has many great features, there are a few considerations that instructors should be aware of prior to using the tool:

  • Activities are created in an unpublished state. You will need to manually activate (i.e., publish) an activity in order to collect responses.
  • Using Poll Everywhere in slideshow presentations:
    • If you are using Poll Everywhere in PowerPoint and sharing your content via Zoom, you will need to share your entire desktop and not just the PowerPoint application. Activities will not display to Zoom participants if only the PowerPoint application is shared.
    • If you have your PowerPoint slides on a USB drive, start PowerPoint on the classroom computer, then open your .ppt file. This is also a good practice to follow when working with classroom Macs and PowerPoint or Keynote.
    • If you are using Poll Everywhere in Powerpoint for MacOS, presenter mode will not work unless you use force monitor selection. For assistance, please contact Classroom Technology Services.
  • Using the Poll Everywhere integration in Canvas:
    • When linking activity participation to the Gradebook, it is common for the linked activities to default to 100 points.
    • When tracking student participation in Poll Everywhere, you must restrict activity participation to “Registered Users” or student responses will not be recorded properly and you will receive an error when syncing with the Gradebook. To do this, log in to your activities page and select one of your activities. Click Configure, then select Audience restriction and identity. Under the heading “How do you want to identify participants?” select the radial “Restrict to Registered Participants only” option.
    • If Poll Everywhere prompts students to log in, they will need to use their default email address listed in Canvas, usually this is a Penn email address. Poll Everywhere may request a reset of their password via that email address. It’s important for students to use the default email address listed in Canvas for any Poll Everywhere activity where participation is being tracked, otherwise, they won’t get credit for participating.

Instructions

Create an Activity

A Poll Everywhere activity is a single question or prompt you pose to your audience. Activities include multiple-choice questions, open-ended questions, ranking questions, surveys, polls, word clouds, and more.

Learn how to create an activity in Poll Everywhere.

Share Activities

If you are using Poll Everywhere in PowerPoint and sharing your content via Zoom, you will need to share your entire desktop and not just the PowerPoint application. Polls will not display to Zoom participants if only the PowerPoint application is shared.

If you are presenting a PowerPoint in a classroom that has a Poll Everywhere slide and you have your presentation on a USB drive, be sure to open Powerpoint on the classroom’s computer first and then open your Powerpoint Presentation from the USB drive.

You can use Poll Everywhere in a presentation or in an online meeting. Poll Everywhere will work with Powerpoint, Google Slides, Keynote, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom. The slide that you use in your presentation or online meeting will have a URL that viewers can go to in order to complete the activity via their phones, tablets, or laptops. 

You can also present an activity directly from the Poll Everywhere website or share an activity URL with participants.

Use Poll Everywhere in Canvas

Before getting started, determine whether you need to track student participation and sync activities with the Canvas Gradebook. If you plan to use these features, we recommend working with your LSP to configure the Canvas integration properly. 

If you just want to see the results on the screen in class, you can share activities directly with your students without using the Canvas integration.

Poll Everywhere can be used in a variety of ways within a course: 

  • Share or embed activities directly (no tracking of student participation; no syncing with the Gradebook; add/embed activities in Canvas or slideshow presentations)
  • Sync activities with Canvas (track user participation, sync course roster and activity participation with Canvas, requires integration setup and configuration) 

Share Activities in Canvas

You can use Poll Everywhere in Canvas with or without the integration. Using the Canvas integration allows you to track respondents and sync activity participation. If you do not need to track respondents or sync activity participation with the Gradebook, we recommend using Poll Everywhere without the Canvas integration. 

Regardless of whether you use Poll Everywhere with or without the Canvas integration, there are a variety of options available to share activities in Canvas: 

Sync Activities with Canvas

We recommend working with your LSP to configure the Poll Everywhere integration in Canvas properly.

Using the Poll Everywhere integration in Canvas allows you to sync your roster with Canvas and sync participation with the Gradebook. The integration is useful if you would like to track participation or create a graded activity

When using the Poll Everywhere integration to sync activities in Canvas, we recommend working with your Local Service Provider (LSP) to ensure the integration is configured properly. We also recommend creating an ungraded practice activity to ensure the integration is configured correctly and students understand how to participate.

Step 1: Import Student Roster from Canvas

You will need to manually sync your course roster again after the add/drop period to ensure that all students in your course have been properly enrolled. Poll Everywhere does not do this automatically.

  1. Go to the course that you wish to connect with Poll Everywhere and click + Module, name the module, then click Add Module to save. We recommend leaving this module unpublished. This module is only for activating the integration, students cannot access your activities from this link.
  2. Within your new module, click the + button. From the dropdown menu of the popup window, select External Tool, then select Poll Everywhere. The URL and Page Name fields will auto-populate below. Lastly, check the Load in a new tab checkbox and click Add Item to save.
Screenshot of adding an External Tool item to a module in Canvas. The screenshot hightlights the location of Poll Everywhere in the list of external tools and the "Load in a new tab" checkbox is selected.
To see all available options, you may need to resize or scroll to the bottom of the pop-up window.
  1. To activate the Poll Everywhere integration, click on the new Poll Everywhere link that you made within the module. On the page that displays, click the Load Poll Everywhere in a new window button.
  2. In the new tab, you will be asked to select an LMS to continue. Select Continue to canvas.upenn.edu. On the next page, click the Sync roster button.
  3. The page that loads will inform you that the participant sync is proceeding. Click the Go to Participants page button to confirm the roster imported successfully. Please note, it may take a few minutes for the roster to sync.
Screenshot of the "Your roster is importing" page in Poll Everywhere. The button for "Go to Participants page" is highlighted.
  1. From the Participants page, you will be able to verify that the sync took place because there will be a new group named after your course in the Groups pane on the right side of the page. 
Screenshot of the Participants page in Poll Everywhere. The link for "LMS Courses" is highlighted.
  1. To view or sync your course roster(s), click the LMS Courses button on the Participants page. From the LMS Connections page, you can also view the date a course roster was last updated.
Screenshot of the LMS Connections page in Poll Everywhere. From this page, you can view all courses synced with Poll Everywhere, view the date the course was last synced, and sync the roster with Canvas.
  1. Students will receive an auto-generated email that they have been added to Poll Everywhere for the course. If students are unsure of their Poll Everywhere login, they can simply reset their password via that auto-generated email.

Now that you have connected your course to Poll Everywhere, you can delete the module used to make the initial connection. Alternatively, you can use the link in this module to quickly access Poll Everywhere. We recommend leaving this module unpublished, students cannot access your activities from this link.

Step 2: Sync Activity Results with the Gradebook

Once you have collected some poll results from students, you can export those results to the Canvas Gradebook.

In order for student activity results to sync properly, you must restrict activity participation to “Registered Users” or you will receive an error when syncing with the Gradebook and students may not receive credit for participating.

  1. Start on the Participants page (polleverywhere.com/participants) and select the LMS Course link.
Screenshot of the Participants page in Poll Everywhere. The link for "LMS Courses" is highlighted.
  1. From the LMS Connections page, select the desired course. You can create a new Gradebook report, or choose a Gradebook that you have already created for the course.

You cannot edit the activities within a Gradebook report, but choosing a previously created report will allow you to update and re-export the results.

Screenshot of a course page in Poll Everywhere. The "Add new gradebook" button is highlighted.
  1. Adding a new Gradebook will put you into the report creation flow. In the side panel, select the Gradebook report and then the activities you wish to include in your report.
Screenshot of the report creation workflow in Poll Everywhere. Options displayed in different report types and activity select for the report.
  1. Review the Gradebook report, and click the Export button at the bottom right when you are ready to export the grades to Canvas. 

The name of your report will be the name assumed by the grade column in Canvas. You can rename your report by clicking on the Rename link next to the title at the top of the report.

Screenshot of the Gradebook report in Poll Everywhere. The location of the Export button in the bottom center of the page is highlighted.
  1. The popup will walk you through the export or show you errors if something goes wrong. Check to see that the course noted in the popup matches the course you wish to export, Additionally, you will have the option to export the report as Grades or Participation. Make your selections, then click Next. The export will complete in the background.
Screenshot of the "Export report" pop-ups in Poll Everywhere.
  1. Once the export is complete, navigate back to your course in Canvas and click Gradebook to verify that the new gradebook column for the activity was created.

When linking activity participation to the Gradebook, it is common for the linked activities to default to 100 points.

Additional Resources

Getting Help

Please contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) or submit a request to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu for assistance with Poll Everywhere.