Poll Everywhere is an interactive audience response tool whereby students can answer instructor-generated questions in face-to-face, hybrid and online classrooms. Olin faculty, teaching assistants and staff presenters may request Poll Everywhere access by emailing Olin-CDE@wustl.edu

With Washington University’s institutional license, instructors and staff presenters can create open- and close-ended questions that students may answer with their smart devices, web browsers or via SMS text message instead of depending on clicker devices.

Poll Everywhere also supports PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote and Slack integration and users can generate response reports that can be directly imported into Canvas.

Getting Started with Poll Everywhere

Why Use Poll Everywhere? 

  • Use student responses to customize your lecture (understand where students are starting from).
  • Encourage more active learning by engaging students who might be reluctant to participate.
  • Check students’ understanding by asking multiple-choice questions.
  • Engage students in higher-order levels of cognition by asking open-ended questions.
  • Encourage students to be accountable for their learning and class participation.
  • Create a welcoming and robust environment for classroom discussion. 
  • Help students develop listening skills by discussing their responses with their peers.
  • Teach students to interpret data and laboratory reports by answering a series of questions.
  • Delve into case studies by pinpointing student perspectives, misunderstandings and opportunities for clarification.
  • Teach your students to summarize big concepts in a couple of words.

Teaching with Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is an effective and enjoyable way to administer Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs), or formative assessment strategies, for online, hybrid and face-to-face learning environments. 

Instructors may check for learners’ understanding by using Poll Everywhere to create: 

  • Multiple-choice polls
  • Open-ended questions 
  • Q&A
  • Rank order
  • Clickable images

The types of questions that instructors may craft include basic recall questions, conceptual questions, “the muddiest point,” personal belief or perspective questions, experiment and predictive questions, among others. 

Poll Everywhere can also improve student engagement by promoting active learning and providing learners multiple opportunities to share and co-construct knowledge in a safe, low-stakes environment. Giving students ample opportunity to express their ideas and experiences throughout a class session, be it on Zoom or in a physical classroom, helps students better remember and retain concepts and skills. 

Teaching Consultations 

CDE Instructional Designers Nina Kim and Kella Thornton and the Center for Teaching and Learning provide virtual one-on-one consultations to faculty interested in using Poll Everywhere in their courses. Be on the lookout for future CTL workshop events about teaching with Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere Integration with Presentation Software

Poll Everywhere can be integrated directly with PowerPoint by downloading the plug-ins for Windows and Mac computers. Please note: If you create a PowerPoint presentation using the Poll Everywhere plug-in on your personal device, but then present on a different device, such as a classroom desktop that doesn’t have the plug-in installed, Poll Everywhere for PowerPoint will not work. However, if this happens, presenting polls via the Poll Everywhere website is a very useful and straightforward workaround. 

Google Slides, Keynote and Slack also have integration features with Poll Everywhere. Bottom line: Ensure that you download requisite plug-ins and apps to get the most out of Poll Everywhere. 

Determining Who Can Participate in Poll Everywhere

We strongly recommend choosing “Everyone–no restrictions” for Who can participate? under the Audience restriction & identity settings to ensure students can fully participate in Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere Screenshot of Who Can Participate Settings

If you wish to “Restrict to registered participants only,” you must coordinate with the CDE team (Attention: Ty Madey and Kella Thornton) to gain approval to use this setting. For an overview of registration settings, please read the Center for Teaching & Learning’s Guidelines

Poll Everywhere Resources


Contact olin-cde@wustl.edu to gain access to Olin’s professional license or for further assistance. Remember, Poll Everywhere also has a comprehensive support center