Survey My Learners

Class participation provides the best gauge of student understanding. But in large classes, gleaning full participation is nearly impossible. Curt Niccum, assistant professor of Bible, talks about how he uses mobile polling software to help.

Research has shown that student input and feedback in the classroom can have a direct impact on student satisfaction and engagement. Having the ability to informally assess students in the classroom allows a professor to tailor class sessions on the fly and differentiate lessons to fit a broader range of students. Polling and in-class surveys are one pedagogical tool to allow every student’s voice to be heard in the classroom setting.

Supporting a range of disciplines and question types, mobile polling provides immediate feedback to instructors and students about what the class thinks or feels.

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Survey Tools

NANO Tools    

NANO = No Advance Notice

NANO Tools was developed by ACU’s web programming team to provide a simple and quick way for faculty and students to survey each other.  It is completely web-based which means it will display on any mobile device internet browser. NANO Tools supports multiple choice, true/false, word cloud, and word stack polling. It is a completely anonymous form of surveying participants.

There are two forms of NANO Tools polling: Public or Private.  

Public polling allows you to initiate a poll that anyone can participate in via a session number. To initiate a poll and get a session number you need an ACU login; the participants do not.  

Private polling is for an instructor to exclusively poll a specific class. Anyone registered within that class can access the poll through the ACU Mobile website.

Instructional Resources

Turning ResponseWare  

For faculty who need to capture or analyze the results of class surveys, we recommend Turning ResponseWare. It is a synchronous, mobile-friendly clicker application. Using a client software program, you can initiate polls to students who are connected to your session. Students connect to the session through a native iPhone or iPod touch App called Responseware. The data collected from your session is then analyzed in a back end reporting system.  

You can initiate multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, and Likert scale polls. Polls can be done anonymously or you can track student information and formally grade the responses.

Any student with a mobile device that connects to the Internet or a laptop can participate in a Responseware poll. In order to initiate Turning polls you will need an instructor account. 

PROS: great for hybrid environments with a range of devices; PowerPoint integration with TurningPoint software or stand-alone TurningPoint Anywhere.

CONS: make sure wireless is rock-solid, especially with larger classes.

Instructional Resources

Google Forms (Mac or PC)  

Google Forms is part of the Google Docs repertoire.  It is an intuitive and simple survey, or quiz development tool that has a built-in reporting spreadsheet. Google Forms is a free and simple alternative to survey creation sites such as SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang. A Google Form is an effective way to get student feedback using the mobile device platform.

With Google Forms you can quickly produce a poll, survey, or quiz for your students. The built-in reporting spreadsheet tracks all of the responses and you have the ability on the front-end to track usernames or keep the poll anonymous. There are also more advanced graphing features available to track response trends and analyze your data further.

Instructional Resources


The website PollDaddy focuses on online surveys. It offers eleven different types of questions and custom skins for a more personalized poll. PollDaddy also allows users to insert pictures and video into the poll itself. Once created, the poll can be embedded in another website as Javascript or Flash. The basic package is free but caps surveys at ten qustions and stipulates that only 100 responses can be received a month.

Instructional Resources


Nice alternative for hybrid classrooms where SMS is the least common denominator, though web and now Twitter polling are also available. Poll Everywhere also allows users to customize polls, but unlike PollDaddy, Poll Everywhere focuses on the audience’s response venues. Poll takers can respond via Facebook, Twitter, text message, or website widget. The free plan allows for 30 participants per poll. 

PROS: nice way to communicate in larger venues without need to download an app or visit a website.

CONS: limited to basic multiple choice for now.

Instructional Resources
Learning Studio: Year One
The Learning Studio opened its doors to the campus last March. Here is a look at some of the stories from year one.