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Generating Useful Feedback with Digital Survey Tools

by Andrew Roush
digital survey tools

Polls and surveys are useful methods for gathering information about your students, tracking progress, and using that feedback to form lesson plans and assessments. With the latest digital survey tools, you can gather that information more accurately and more quickly. It might even be fun, if you pick the right tool. Happily, there are many to choose from.

As Bryn Mawr College puts it:

Gone are the days of raising hands, putting thumbs up or down, or holding up a number of fingers to get an idea as to what a collective group of people is thinking. With the emergence of new polling tools, hands and fingers have been replaced with smartphones and tablets.

Let’s explore five tech tools to take your polling, surveys, presentations, and assessments to a new level.

Polling and Survey Tools

Plickers: Combining cards and technology, Plickers is an app and set of cards students can hold up to respond to prompts while the teacher scans the cards, like a QR code, generating real-time responses. Students can keep their personal devices stowed, since the app scans their card. Imagine it as a cross between a paper placard and the traditional “clicker.” Or better yet, check out this inventive system in the video below from ed tech YouTuber Tech in 2.

AnswerGarden: Calling itself a “minimalistic feedback tool,” AnswerGarden allows users to simply create a question, share it, and views the results as a word cloud. The simplicity and free-form answers make it an easy-to-use, highly flexible survey tool. It even got a shout-out from the New Learning Times, a publication of the EdLab at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Crowdsignal: More than just surveys, Crowdsignal includes the ability to create custom-designed polls, ratings, and quizzes, too. Paid plans offer even more features (education and nonprofit organizations can get 10% off plan pricing), but free accounts also provide a powerful way to interact and garner feedback from students, in and out of the classroom.

Micropoll: Another straightforward, customizable, and free tool, Micropoll makes it easy to create shared polls, as well as watch response trends over time, share and syndicate your polls, and even track responses geographically.

Mentimeter: Designed to help create top-notch presentations, Mentimeter is a BYOD solution that allows your audience (or students) to give real-time feedback from their devices. There’s a free version, and Mentimeter even showcases a variety of different quiz, poll, and word cloud templates.

Poll Maker: No signing up, no pricing plans, and an easy and intuitive interface make Poll Maker an obvious choice. Easily customize themes, preview your questions, and share for real-time feedback, or long-term response gathering.

Engaged Learning and Informed Assessments

Polls aren’t the only way to create formative assessments, but they are a method worth considering, especially if real-time, in-class feedback is important to you and your students. After all, generating feedback and creating quality assessments shouldn’t rely on just one tool.

When it comes to polls and surveys, there are more options than we’ve outlined above, so it’s certain that there’s a tool for you. Got one we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Want to learn more? Check out our previous posts about survey tools here.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu

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