Late last year, we reviewed an activity run by Dr Nalini Pather in one of her final lectures for the year. Aiming to use the session for revision and feedback, the Slice collaborative annotation tool was used to allow her students to mark regions on anatomy images before the entire class reviewed all of the annotations and received feedback on their understanding.

At the same time, the Smart Sparrow Poll tool was used to assess the theory based elements of the course. The Poll tool acts in the same way as ‘classroom clickers’ that are excellent at engaging students by collecting their feedback on multiple choice questions in real-time. However, unlike the clickers, there is no need to bring a box along to the lectures or to monitor their return at the end of the session.

The idea is that when students answer a question in a tutorial, rather than give them feedback you direct them to the next screen where the entire classes responses are compiled. This tool can be used in lectures or tutorials to gauge understanding. Within a Smart Sparrow tutorial, once you’ve created a question that you’d like to use as a review activity, follow the instructions as written out below or watch our short video that will guide you through the process.

Setting up a poll:

  1. On a new screen click INSERT in the author ribbon
  2. Click the poll widget that has been added to the middle of the screen, it appears as a graph with no information
  3. Then click the properties box on the top right hand corner to open the poll settings box
  4. Click “click here to change target values”
  5. Change the selection to use the data inputted on a ‘different screen’
  6. Select the screen you’ve created your question on
  7. Leaving the rest of the settings untouched, in the folder titled ‘stage’, then the name of your question, click ‘selectedChoiceText’ to show the option responses rather than option A,B,C etc. Choose ‘selectedChoice’ if you would like the option A,B,C etc shown instead.
  8. Click OK
  9. Change Tutorial Attempt from ‘Last’ to ‘First’ to collect the students first response, rather their final. This is especially important if you are giving students adaptive feedback on their response.
  10. Under Display properties you can change the labels and edit the maximum categories to the number of options you have in your question.

While in the preview tool, it might appear that your poll is not working properly, but once you’ve activated your lesson by returning to the home page and clicking activate you’ll be able to follow the URL to view the poll as your students would.