Using live mobile polling (Poll Everywhere) to engage students in information literacy. Anne Archer, Joanne Ghee & David Archer (teachmeet abstract)
Using live mobile polling (Poll Everywhere) to engage students in information
Anne Archer, Newcastle Libraries, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Ghee, Newcastle Libraries, email@example.com
David Archer, University of Sunderland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evidence suggests that there is a lack of information literacy (IL) in secondary schools,
contributing to a more difficult transition to University (Bent, 2008). Teachers recognise the
value of IL for lifelong learning but struggle to support its development due to time pressures
within the curriculum (Williams & Wavell, 2006). Teachers and public librarians working in
partnership can help bridge the gaps in IL in students and also encourage greater library use.
Since January 2014 Newcastle Libraries have been part of a pilot scheme designed by the
British Library to deliver IL to sixth form students. Engaging students with IL can be
challenging and the use of interactive technology can increase their enjoyment in the learning
process, encourage creativity, gauge their levels of knowledge and obtain feedback during the
session in a flexible and responsive manner.
We adapted the British Library resources to introduce Poll Everywhere, an application that
allows live audience participation using their mobile devices and is free for up to 40
simultaneous users. The audience can engage using simple text, a mobile friendly web page
or even Twitter. By attending this Teachmeet presentation you will learn how easy it is to
present audience responses live on a website or embedded within a PowerPoint. We will
present a variety of question types available, including free text, multiple choice and
clickable images. These results can then be displayed as text walls, word clouds, cluster or
The main benefit of mobile polling is that it enables students to share their opinions with
reduced risk of embarrassment. Another advantage is inclusivity: students do not need to
have smart phones to respond and thereby do not feel excluded from their peers with better
devices. Finally, it is also an effective way of evaluating students’ main learning outcomes
from the session.
Bent, M. (2008) Perceptions of information literacy in the transition to higher education.
National Teaching Fellowship Report, Newcastle University.
Williams, D.A. and Wavell, C (2006) Information literacy in the classroom: Secondary
school teachers’ conceptions. Research Report 15, Department of Information Management,
Aberdeen School of Business. Available from http://www4.rgu.ac.uk/files/ACF4DAA.pdf
[Accessed on 10th November 2014]