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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Using online and mobile student polling techniques to engage students in assessment design.

Archer, David and Miller, Keith (2015) Using online and mobile student polling techniques to engage students in assessment design. In: 3 Rivers Conference: Student Engagement, 27 Mar 2015, University of Sunderland. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


Assessment processes have been identified as a key way to ‘bring learning and teaching together through engaging students as partners’ (Healey et al 2014). Students frequently interact with content and engage with their peers through mobile devices and hence are familiar with expressing themselves using this medium. Mobile learning has been proposed to work on a pedagogical framework of (1) engagement, (2) presence and (3) flexibility, encouraging awareness of self and others through student-content, student-student and student-teacher interactions (Danaher et al 2009). Through the proposed workshop we will demonstrate the process and encourage delegates to consider how mobile polling can be used to adopt a consultative/partnership approach to the design of assessment and feedback at a modular level.

On a relatively large Level 4 physiology module, I have used a variety of paper-based, online and informal student feedback techniques over several years. Throughout that time, despite large quantities of valuable student feedback being obtained, no references have ever been made about either the type of assessment chosen or the weightings allocated by staff. It seems that these cohorts accepted the nature of assessment as being dictated by staff. In 2013/4 I used online discussion boards in the VLE to capture students’ proposals for changing the type of assessment and assessment weightings and implemented an averaged weighting of these proposals for the following cohort. In 2014/5 I progressed to the use of polling through mobile devices and found it very valuable in establishing a partnership with students in assessment and feedback design. On a Likert Scale from 1-5 (strongly disagree-strongly agree), students rated the use of Poll Everywhere 4.5 in terms of satisfaction.

Poll Everywhere is an audience response system that is free to use for up to 40 simultaneous user responses. Polling can be performed from a web browser or embedded into a PowerPoint presentation as a slide. The audience can respond via sending a text, using a mobile application (an ‘app’), or a website. The benefits of real-time online polling are:

• Immediacy of the response
• Equality of voice/opportunity – not just capturing the more vocal students’ opinions
• Engages students who rarely participate due to shyness or risk aversion (Graham et al 2007)
• Students can interact with their peers’ responses as the poll progresses

• Questions can be created or altered quickly during the session

The opinions of a large class can be captured quickly, which informs facilitation of the session. Staff can seek consensus, clarification and encourage debate using individual or aggregated student responses during class time and have this information easily accessible afterwards.

Danaher P, Gururajan R and Hafeez-Baig A (2009) Transforming the practice of mobile learning: promoting pedagogical innovation through educational principles and strategies that work, in Innovative mobile learning: Techniques and technologies, eds H. Ryu & D. Parsons, IGI Global, Hershey, 21-46.

Graham CR, Tripp TR, Seawright B and Joeckel GL (2007) Empowering or Compelling Reluctant Participators Using Audience Response Systems. Active Learning in Higher Education 8(3): 233-58.

Healey M, Flint A and Harrington K (2014) Engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: HE Academy

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Depositing User: David Archer


Item ID: 5665
Official URL:

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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2015 10:38
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:38


Author: David Archer
Author: Keith Miller

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Sciences > Sport Sciences

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