Classroom polling technologies allow instructors to pose a range of questions to collect real-time feedback and to enhance learner engagement in the classroom.

About Classroom Polling

Classroom polling, sometimes referred to on the Colgate campus as "clickers," is an interactive use of technology, allowing an instructor to pose a question to the class, and individuals in the class to respond. Responses can be compiled and displayed in real time.

Possible Uses

  • Encourage participation from each student
  • Check for student understanding during class
  • Promote discussion and collaboration among students
  • Promote active student engagement during a lecture
  • Make student thinking visible

Available Technologies

Colgate ITS provides faculty with two different polling technologies, each with unique functionality, to meet instructional needs

The iClicker polling technology relies on dedicated hardware — each student uses a "clicker." The clickers communicate with a base station.

Accompanying software runs on a laptop or classroom computer to compile and display results.


To use iClicker in a class students must first purchase a clicker from the Colgate Bookstore, so instructors must consider costs and frequency of use when deciding to use iClicker in a class.

For short-terms exploration or one-time use, ITS does have loaner sets available for groups up to 50 participants.

Poll Everywhere is a web-based audience response system allowing instructors to embed interactive activities in presentations and lectures. When the instructor gives a prompt, students may respond online from their smartphone, or via SMS texting.

A free Poll Everywhere account is available to all Colgate faculty and staff. To request an account, contact the Colgate Service Desk at


If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact:

Director of Learning and Applied Innovation

Ask for Help

If you are unable to find the information you need in the documentation available online, the ITS Service Desk is available to assist.