Electronic Voting Systems

Would you like to make the learning experience for your students more active and engaging in the classroom?

Electronic voting systems can add value to the classroom experience in many ways. For example, you can :

  • Pose a few ice-breaking questions at the start of a lecture to promote areas for discussion and debate
  • Carry out a quick check to test your students’ understanding during or at the end of a lecture
  • Gather consensus on opinions from individuals or groups; re-run and compare changes in attitude
  • Use in revision classes to check understanding

Using an electronic voting system is another way of encouraging students to engage with the lesson and is also an effective way for you to identify areas of the curriculum that need more attention. You’ll find some helpful guidance on planning and writing good questions in this blogpost by Tim Slade on Tips for Writing Better Quiz Questions.

There are a variety of ways in which you can go about introducing quizzes or surveys into your teaching. The following options for voting systems are not exhaustive but should help you to get started.

Option 1: Quick starters — no specialist handsets required

Note: Before use, please check the tool’s terms and conditions carefully as they may alter after this list was published.

These options are browser based, which means that students can access the voting/quiz on their own mobile phone, PC, tablet etc.

Poll Everywhere

  • Advantages: Easy to use, allowing for closed and open-ended polling questions. In addition to a web browser, the polls can be delivered via text message and Twitter.
  • Disadvantages: The free version only allows up to 40 votes per poll.

To find out more you can watch the demo video available from the Poll Everywhere website


  • Advantages: Easy set up. Free version available which allows up to 50 responses per poll. Welsh plug-in available.
  • Disadvantages: Poll types may not be suitable for all subjects. If above 50 responses needed, you will need the upgraded, paid-for version.


  • Advantages: Live polls can be added into Powerpoint. Responders can add comments and 'likes’ to answers.
  • Disadvantages: Free version only allows up to 10 participants per quiz.


  • Advantages: Free to use tool. Excellent for Gamification of polls.
  • Disadvantages: Targeted for schools, so perhaps feels less HE-like than other tools.


For details of the advantages and disadvantages of using Socrative, check out this useful extrernal link infographic

Option 2: specialist handsets required


Using the Connect2 service you can book out the TurningPoint system from the Treforest Media Loans section. There are two TurningPoint systems available for loan, each offering 40 handsets.

  • Advantages: This system integrates well with your PowerPoint presentations, allowing you to prepare questions on a series of slides and then displaying student responses 'live’ as a graph/chart in the same PowerPoint show.
  • Disadvantages: Requires the installation of specialist software in advance, time to familiarise yourself with the use of the software and advance planning to ensure access to the handheld devices.

To find out more take a look at the relevant TurningPoint 5 user guide

Case Study Example: You can read a very interesting example on the use of the TurningPoint system by the Mathematics Education Centre of Loughborough University. Although this paper was published some time ago, much of the information is still pertinent today.