Last month, I had the great pleasure of visiting Anne Heenan’s Epidemiology course which is part of the BSN program at the OHSU School of Nursing. We worked together to use polleverywhere.com. It’s a free service that allows faculty to quickly and easily set up a poll which students can respond to with cell phones, tablets or laptops (basically any wireless device). Students were asked to bring devices to class in advance. Every student followed through and participated in the activity. It only takes a few minutes to embed a poll in a powerpoint presentation. The poll allowed the instructor to check the students understanding of the concept at hand. This service is a faculty-student-friendly alternative to clickers.
In large classes, with 50+ students, checking for understanding can be a challenge. The logistics of large and small group discussions, or “practice quizzes” are complicated. In this course, thorough understanding of epidemiologic study design and data analysis techniques allow the nurse to make data-based decisions for direct care of populations, families, and individuals. With polleverywhere.com, the instructor can set up a few poll questions prior to class. When the poll question is opened and students respond to the questions, they can track the response rates to different answers “live” on the screen at the front of the class. For this session, the students had no problem navigating to submit their answer, regardless of the device they brought to class. For more information about polleverywhere.com, please visit their website, or contact Scott Christian at the Teaching and Learning Center.