ePoll is the University of Alberta's web-based student response system (SRS), which allows instructors to conduct live student polls within the classroom. ePoll was constructed to provide existing SRS users with a free alternative to clicker-based systems while also allowing students to use their own devices. ePoll completed a public beta phase at the end of summer 2019 and is now available for all users. Anyone with feedback about the system is encouraged to contact the IST eClass team.
Accessing the system
Delivering Quick Polls (Instructor-view)
After login, instructors have a short workflow of a few clicks to create a quick poll to engage class participants. The recommended practice is that instructors would use their smart phone to launch polls so this article will show screenshots of that process. (It is equally possible to use a desktop or laptop computer and any modern web-browser but this will display slightly differently.)
- The Welcome screen allows participants to Enter polls by typing the poll code; the poll code is automatically generated and appears as '(ID: XXX)' before the title of each poll, and in the header within polls.
- The Manage button allows instructors to view past polls (including viewing past polling results) or to begin polling if they have pre-built a poll.
- The Create button allows instructors to pre-build new polls or to poll on the fly.
- The action menu at the top right shows the logged in account and has the logout button.
- To begin polling click Create.
- The default poll name is the current date and time.
- The poll code (3-letter ID) must be entered by students to access the poll.
- If using a mobile phone, the poll code should be displayed somewhere in the classroom: for example in the lecture powerpoint slides or on the whiteboard.
- If using the classroom podium computer to display ePoll in a browser, students will see the poll code in the question header.
- To add and launch a question, click on the Add question button.
- For a quick question matching an existing lecture slide, all that is required is a name for the question, eg. Q1 and to adjust the number of answers to match the slide.
- To edit the question name, tap or click 'Question text'. If nothing is entered, the default question name is the current time.
- The default question settings are:
- Multiple choice question type with 5 answers.
- No answers can be counted as correct.
- Students responses are 'Live' only in the Instructor view (students cannot see aggregated voting results until the instructor pushes them.)
- To open the question for student responses, click the Begin polling button at bottom right.
- While polling is running, the instructor will see the current number of responses under the question name.
- The percentage of responses for answer displays in the bar graph for each prompt.
- Question polling can be closed by clicking End at the bottom right. Doing this will provide the option of showing the answer summary on participant devices.
- If displaying results (or pushing to user's devices) is not required, the bottom left button Back will close the question AND display the question list to be ready for the next question.
- From within a closed poll question, the overall class results for the question can be pushed to student devices by clicking the results button.
- Instructors can click the Re-ask button to re-launch the same question (deleting any existing responses).
- The Back button allows instructors to ask a new question matching the next slide in the powerpoint.
- From the Question list screen, instructors can:
- View the results of past questions - which provides the option to display them to students.
- Add new questions and launch them for polling.
- Duplicate questions - which provides the ability to edit them before launching.
- Delete questions.
- Clicking Home on this screen will exit the poll and display the list of existing polls.
The quick polling method described above is best used for on-the-fly questions live in class or with questions already existing as slides in your powerpoint lecture slides. As an alternative, it is also possible to build questions in advance directly in ePoll which can replace the need for specific slides in the lecture notes - for more information please see Creating and Managing ePoll Questions.