Keeping students engaged with web‐based polling in the library instruction session

Jared Hoppenfeld (West Campus Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 8 June 2012



This research was performed with the aim of determining the potential benefit(s) of including web‐based polling in the library instruction classroom.


Over the course of a year, web‐based polling was used in library instruction sessions and the survey results were recorded. Feedback forms were also used to gauge a sense of the students' experiences with this form of active learning.


This study found that web‐based polling in a library instruction classroom benefits both students and instructors. The students enjoy these sessions and are more attentive than in a typical lecture, which leads to better learning. Instructors are able to learn about the students' uses of technology, research methods, and more with the polling capability.

Research limitations/implications

The research in this study was only done using the free version of Poll Everywhere in management classes. It would be interesting to see if the results would be the same in other business classes as well as non‐business classes. It could also be beneficial to test the functionality of paid accounts as well as seeing how other web sites compare.

Practical implications

This article may assist those deciding between different audience response systems and provide tips to those wishing to implement web‐based polling, and more specifically Poll Everywhere, in their sessions.


Few articles on audience response systems exist solely on web‐based polling and the benefits instructors can reap in addition to their students. This research will be of benefit to any librarian who teaches in the classroom, especially those in academic libraries.



Hoppenfeld, J. (2012), "Keeping students engaged with web‐based polling in the library instruction session", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 235-252.

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