The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of students learning online and attending virtual classes in a short amount of time. Most educational institutions use learning management systems (LMSs) and virtual classroom software to adopt elearning successfully. But both teachers and students face many new challenges while switching to online learning or distance learning.
According to a survey on online and distance learning conducted by SchoolEducationGeteway,
“The biggest challenge related to supporting pupils was keeping all of them motivated and engaged (43% of respondents chose this), involving pupils from socially disadvantaged homes (36%), involving disaffected pupils (19%) and supporting those with special needs or disabilities (18%).”
Many teachers these days keep students engaged and motivated by creating live polls. Unlike online surveys, live polls consist of a single question. But teachers have the option to ask a single-choice question, multi-choice question, or open-ended question. Hence, they can conduct polling in virtual classrooms to gather information, feedback, or insights on a single topic or subject.
In addition to keeping students engaged and motivated in virtual classrooms, live polls help teachers to accomplish a variety of objectives – initiate discussions, test knowledge, measure understanding, and collecting insights. Educators can make live polls more impactful by posting comments on the answers or results posted by every student proactively. The teachers can create live polls in virtual classrooms using a slew of free polling tools.
Also, many new-age LMSs and virtual classrooms come with built-in interactive tools to make it easier for teachers to conduct polling in virtual classrooms. As an instructor or teacher, you can leverage live polls as a powerful tool to improve student engagement in virtual classrooms. You can even keep the students engaged, excited, and motivated by making polling an integral part of virtual classrooms and e-learning environments.
How Leverage Polling in Virtual Classrooms to Boost Student Engagement?
Understand and Meet Expectations
You cannot engage and motive a student without understanding and meeting her expectations. Also, you can personalize the learning experience only by understanding a student’s expectations clearly. You can know and understand the expectations of multiple students in a few minutes by creating an open-ended poll. You can ask the appropriate open-ended questions to know what every student expects from the virtual class.
Break the Ice
Elearning enables you to teach students across geographic locations. But you can make students feel and experience being part of the same class only by breaking the ice at the beginning of the virtual classes. You can easily break the ice by creating a live poll that asks students to answer a fun question. The student needs to answer in fun question in a few words.
Often poor concentration or focus is cited as one of the major shortcomings of virtual classrooms. You cannot make a student understand concepts and retain information without making her focus fully on the online classes. While explaining concepts, you can easily make students concentrate and measure their understanding by creating online polls. They can ask your questions only when they understand a concept clearly. It is also a good idea to conduct a live poll before beginning the next lesson.
Collect Ideas and Feedback
You can make virtual classes more exciting and engaging by creating opportunities for students to share innovative ideas and unleash their creativity. You can easily encourage students to share their ideas and views on a topic or concept by asking open-ended poll questions. Likewise, you can conduct open-ended polls to ask students to share their views, opinions, and feedback on a variety of issues.
Foster Healthy Competition
Many teachers these days keep students engaged and excited by introducing competition in virtual classrooms in the form of activities and quizzes. In addition to boosting student engagements, quizzes help students to retain knowledge. You can easily foster healthy competition in virtual classrooms by organizing quizzes using online polling tools. However, you reward the winner handsomely to sustain healthy competition.
Allow Students to Ask Follow-up Questions
The LMS systems and virtual classroom software these days enable students to access a wide variety of digital content. Hence, a student can understand a concept by reading an ebook, watching a video, or listening to a podcast. In addition to asking questions, you can keep students engaged by allowing them to ask follow-up questions. Most eLearning solutions these days allow students to ask students while attending online classes. But you must make the students feel confident and comfortable to ask follow-up questions.
Start Classroom Discussions
According to Study.com,
“Getting students to actively participate in class discussions can be a challenge – but one that is worth our time. If we want to guarantee their success, we must get them involved.”
You can hold keep students engaged and add interest to the topic by making class discussion a key element of virtual classes. You can use polling in virtual classrooms to start classroom discussions simply by asking an open-ended question. The students will understand and assess a topic from multiple angles based on the ideas, information, and inputs shared by other students.
Identify Learning Issues
Like teachers, students also face many new challenges while learning online. You can make it easier for students to acquire and retain knowledge by helping them to resolve learning issues proactively. You can conduct polling in virtual classrooms to identify the learning issues. Once you identify the learning issues, it will become easier for you to personalize instructions and teaching approaches based on real-time feedback shared by students.
Ensure Knowledge Retention
You cannot make online classes successful without focusing on both knowledge delivery and knowledge retention. In addition to improving the learning experience, you need to ensure that students retain knowledge after attending online classes. You can easily know if students are understanding concepts and retaining information by conducting live polls regularly. Also, you can measure knowledge retention by asking both open-ended and multi-choice questions.
You can easily keep students engaged, excited, and motivated by creating a variety of live polls and online polls. The cloud-based virtual classroom software developed by Mintbook comes with built-in interactive tools to help you use polling in virtual classrooms without putting in extra time and effort. But you must make the live polls more impactful by encouraging students to answer the post questions and responding to the answers posted by them.