As I delve into the use of Web 2.0 technology to motivate the unmotivated student. I am discovering that my students love it when I use quick polls as an informal assessment tool. These polls allow me to answer simply and quick questions to check their understanding after a lecture.
By the way, I only lecture my students for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. How long do your lectures last? When I take classes, I have difficulties following teachers who lecture too long. What about you?
I use these informal assessment polls to because they engage min the process of observing my students as they learn then evaluating their learning and using the data I gather from the online polls.
Quickly polling students is helpful as I make quick assessments of their learning and use of new knowledge I tried to impart from my lecture. These polls are quick and provide valid and useful data to help me further plan for their learning. I use online polls and my observation of small group activities so I know when they are ready to pass the formal assessment. This way more of my students pass weekly quizzes and bi-monthly tests, the formal stuff.
Online polls are useful to teaching and learning in my classrooms because they provide quick and real time feedback to my students. I use them for brainstorming my next lesson. Students know what they need to review in the text immediately. I also use polls to ask students their opinions about discussion questions and upcoming essay topics. I even allow students to give me their feedback on my teaching strategies using online polls. They can tell me which activities they liked or disliked. Since teaching is learning is all about my students, I need their immediate feedback as much as they need my immediate feedback on their writing. For students who society classifies as unmotivated, I encourage them by showing them that their opinion counts.
To find free online polls simply do a search for "free online polls" Edmodo, Socrative, Google Forms, and Survey Monkey are the four I use most often. I don't use Twitter but my colleague does. She gets good results. There are many others. If you leave a message in the comment box below this article I'll send you a few links.
I can get really creative with my use of polls to motivate my students and increase their engagement. Polling does it for me. Please share you comments about how creative you have been using online polls as a valuable tool to assess students. I look forward to hearing from you.