Using Poll Everywhere to track attendance to classes and lectures is easy and a common practice. There are a few tricks and best practices we’ve found to make it easy to quickly determine attendance and to prevent cheating. To take attendance or grading for a group first requires pre-registering all of your participants (students) with your account. I’ll cover some specifics here, but for greater detail on registration you should start here.
My first recommendation and a common method is to ask a Multiple Choice poll question at the beginning of class and mark one of the answer options as correct, then audibly tell the audience which is the correct answer to get attendance. Or, you may write the correct answer up on the board. Anyone trying to respond who is not in the room will be unable to see the responses, only the question. So, unless they are physically present or someone tells them what the correct attendance Word/Option is they won't get credit. And, if you want to get fancy you may use our Timer feature to automatically lock the poll to prevent responses after a certain time.
For even greater control you can limit the polls to Text Message only. When the questions are text message only, anyone not in the room will not even know when a poll question is being presented. Again, unless someone attending is actively telling their friends what to respond with and when. Usually, I recommend still using Multiple Choice Polls with multiple answer options and only one correct response. You can see how to set a correct response from our User Guide section on grading.
After you have decided on the type of question you are going to use and have created your poll, you will want to set the poll to registered participants only. Open your attendance poll question by clicking on the title > select the Response settings menu to expand it > and check the box for Registered Participants Only.
Now that you have your polls set up we can cover the registration and reporting parts. For the easiest method to quickly run reports on attendance and grading I recommend using our Participant Groups in conjunction with our Gradebook Report. This will do it all for you with a little set up when you first register participants. Here’s how:
First, you create a participant group for each of the classes/events and then send the direct invitation group link to the participants so they will automatically be in the correct group. The invitation link is the most common registration process but you may also import your participants with a spreadsheet if you all of their information or you may use our LMS integration. I am only going to cover the invitation link here because it is the most common.
-Click on the Participants tab at the top of the page
- To the top right of the page, click the link for New Group and give the group a name. Perhaps a class or course, or just the name of the lecture/event.
- Hover your mouse over the name of this new group and click on the Invite link
- then email the link to every participant (student) in the class or post this link on an appropriate website for this class/lecture
This will put all of the participants who register from this link into the same participant group. You may then create reports for just this group to make grading easier.
Later, after presenting your poll(s) you may use our Reports tab to run a report on all of the participants from a specified Participant Group (class) over a series of polls. Here's how:
Click on the Reports tab at the very top of the page
Click on the red "Create a new report" button to the top left. Unless this is your very first report in which case you get the full tutorial
Then choose the type of report you want to run. For attendance and grading I usually recommend the Gradebook Report, but this is available for other report types like Response Pivot Reports
Next, choose the poll(s) that you would like to run this report on. There isn't any limit to the number of polls. Click the small checkbox to the left of the title of each poll question you want to include. You can always add or remove later.
This will create a report for only the responses we've received for the current run of the selected polls. It will only list the responses received. If you want to get a report for how all of the registered participants (students) responded, click on the Participants menu to the right side of the page to expand it. Then select the Participant Group (class name) from the drop down menu. The report will update to show only the responses for that group of participants. It will also display those who didn't respond at all, but were in the group.
We will automatically grade the responses to mark which participants have responded to the attendance poll correctly. This report will be exportable to a .CSV file that you may then use to enter the attendance and grades into your system.