How can we improve Poll Everywhere?

Location Tracking

GPS tracking to discourage cheaters. Some stay home in their dorms/apartments and just wait for a poll to come up. We have to find clever ways to keep them from cheating.

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Christina Lebonville shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

This has always been a far-off dream for us and I 100% understand the desire to limit responses to only participants within the room. We have been waiting and hoping for GeoTracking technology to be reliable enough for us to use as part of our regular workflow. I have personally used Uber or enough times where they have me one or more city blocks away from my actual location and we really don’t want the same situation to prevent a student from getting any class credit.

That said, there are a few ways we could try to tackle the problem. Would something like this work for you?
- you are able to set you poll questions to “Request the participants location” before they are able to respond
- the student is then prompted to share their location on the phone/laptop
- if Poll Everywhere is unable to determine the location of the student for some reason (they do not have GPS enabled on their device) or if Poll Everywhere determines they are far away from the classroom
- then, we display a notification to the student "Warning: Your phone thinks it’s far from other participants. If that’s not right "
- the student is then given some other means to prove they are in the classroom. Or, at least knows they are considered outside the room
- after class, when you run a Gradebook report > there will be a new column that will mark whether we believed the student was in the room or not. And, you will be able to followup or reject those responses at will

Sorry, I know that’s a lot but it’s a tricky problem for us from a technology perspective and a privacy perspective. I’d love to hear any ideas or thoughts you have on it.

Thanks for the idea!


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  • P. Yohe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just tested using a QR code projected on the lecture hall screen in one of our oldest classrooms (old space, old equipment) to see if someone from the back of the room could successfully interact with the code using a mobile device. It worked! The first picture is of the space with the QR code on the screen. The second code is the camera app trying to open the link (which it did).

    I think a QR reader added to the PollEv app might do two things - get to a poll fast without typing and it could provide an option to conduct attendance.

  • P. Yohe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Could the Poll Everywhere app on phones "signal" to other Poll Everywhere apps on phones in the same room using WiFi information unique to the space? Or display a giant QR on the screen that the student's Poll Everywhere app on their phone would interact with?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is needed. I teach 6 classes a semester. I want to poll my Monday 10 am class but not alert my other 5 classes about an unnecessary (to them) poll. Please add this.

  • Keener, Emily commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Ahh, I see that the feature you mentioned was a recommendation, not something in existence already :) Yes, I think this could work! It's definitely worth exploring for your higher ed customers. Thanks!

  • Keener, Emily commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Faculty often ask us about checking student response location, especially in our larger sections. As it is now, we recommend starting with a timed question that only those in class could answer, like what the prof is wearing or what is written on the board. I'll reach out to support to see if the "request the participant's location" is still an option ... that might be a decent workaround, but I can't seem to locate it in my account.

  • Dave Coffey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a good start but wouldn't collecting IP addresses be a better one? Then having an option to limit poll responses to a specific subnet would allow you to geo-restrict participants to a campus region or a single large lecture hall.

    Seems like this particular data would be useful for troubleshooting and audit purposes anyway so it should be collected regardless. Canvas and other LMSs collect IP address data from users so the privacy argument is moot. Couldn't you do the same thing?

  • Christina Lebonville commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I totally understand it's a difficult problem. There are some ways that I've found to get around it by doing variations in class but they take time and are demeaning to the students if done repeatedly (like make them all raise their hands in the air 2 min after the poll opens. Anyone answering within those two minutes is not in class).

    I think the solution you propose is reasonable. It would be interesting to see it work in practice and how the students feel about it.

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