Audience response systems

Audience response systems let you gather real-time feedback in class. LITS supports two kinds of audience response systems: PollEverywhere, a web-based tool, and paper student response cards (e.g., "flash cards").

What can our tools do?

PollEverywhere allows you to design and present in-class polling from your own computer or mobile device, embedded in your presentation software if you choose. Your students respond from their own mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops).

There are many flash card templates available online; LITS liaisons can help you find one that works for you or you can design your own.

Training and support for PollEverywhere

Contact your LITS liaison if you want to use PollEverywhere in the classroom. Every classroom is different; your LITS liaison can help you use PollEverywhere to achieve your goals.

Want to get started on your own?

Go to Mount Holyoke College's PollEverywhere login to set up an account.

Training and support for flash cards

Contact your LITS liaison if you would like help finding or designing appropriate flash cards and walking through potential uses.

Best practices

Set course goals for your class and have a plan for how any of these audience response tools can help you with those goals.  Ask, “What can audience response do for me?” rather than “What can I do with PollEverywhere or flash cards?"

If you are new to using audience response tools, pick a few things to try and focus on doing them well.

Practice using the materials, software or equipment before you are in front of a class, so that students are not afraid that there will be problems. You want to spend class time teaching, not troubleshooting.

Make sure your students understand why you are using this tool in the class.

Go over rules and expectations. What sort of credit are you giving for PollEverywhere questions? What will you do when a student misses class or forgets their device or their flash card? What will the penalty be for entering responses for another student? Consider dropping some of the lowest PollEverywhere scores to allow room for illnesses and other reasons for absence.

Use the tool routinely and consistently, so that students will see audience response questions as another part of the class, not optional or experimental or just for attendance.

Practice, observe and share with other faculty, especially more experienced users of your tool.

Be sure you and your students are very comfortable with the tool and that you have addressed any accessibility issues before doing graded activities. Consider keeping your audience response questions low stakes and frequent, rather than high stakes and infrequent.

PollEverywhere presenter notes and best practices

Please also see Teaching and Learning Initiatives' guide for using audience response systems in class.