If you like to use poll questions in your classes but do not want to input countless polls into Zoom before class, there is a good workaround that I have been using to make it easier (and less work!) to use polling in your virtual class.

Why use Polling?

Students like when instructors use polling in Zoom classes. Surveys of my own students indicate it is their most preferred engagement feature in Zoom. I suspect it’s because when used as a tool to check understanding, they get immediate feedback on learning and see how they stack up against their peers. However, it can be used for many other kinds of activities, such as prediction, opinion, and voting (on a discussion topic, for example), just to name a few.

Another aspect of polling that students like is the anonymity; they can submit sensitive poll questions without “outing” themselves, and they don’t have to worry about incorrectly answering a concept-checking question. These types of activities are low risk for students but have positive learning and engagement impacts.

Using “Generic” poll questions in Zoom

A generic poll question is a poll that does not contain a question or a specific answer. Rather it provides a way for instructors to ask questions on the fly. For example, If you want to quickly answer a yes/no or true/false question, you can say the question verbally or write it in the chat or whiteboard and call up the generic poll question.

You can do this in Zoom by simply adding two generic questions to your meeting. If you have set up your classes to be “recurring” Zoom meetings, then you only have to enter the polls into Zoom once to be able to use them throughout the term.  Below is an example of what these generic questions might look like. (Here are some step-by-step instructions on adding Polls to your Zoom meeting)

Anytime you want to ask a question, write it on a slide or the whiteboard and launch the appropriate poll question.  This is what it could look like in your Zoom session:

You can run the poll the same poll as many times as you want in a meeting, but note that each time you run it, you delete any previous polling data. Therefore, if you use the report feature to review poll results after class, reusing the same poll question will only give you the data related to the most recent launch of a poll.

Overall, this technique is a great time and energy saver.

Alicia Cundell

Alicia Cundell

Teaching Consultant

Alicia works with faculty to develop their teaching through consultations, teaching observations and workshops. As a representative of the CTL, she also sits on a number of committees and liaises with various units to further the CTL’s mission of supporting and sustaining excellence, inclusion, and opportunity for the entire academic community