Socrative advertises itself as a smart student response system. Besides polling your students on content you can create games and exercises to assess understanding. Once you set up an account it is easy to access your virtual testing room. The program works on smart devices, laptops and desktop computers. I liked that the assessment data was e-mailed to me at the conclusion of the quiz/survey. The spreadsheet was easy to analyze and I found it invaluable prepping for data teams and planning for future instruction. I did notice a couple of drawbacks with Socrative: students cannot go back to change answers and the program can slowdown or quit in the middle of quizzes if more than 20 or students are on at one time. But overall, I enjoyed using this program in my class this year.
Poll Everywhere can also be used in the classroom, on computers and with smart devices. It's primary purpose is for participants in classes or presentations to text in their answers. This tool is free for up to 40 participants. I have used Poll Everywhere in staff development and it is effective. It can be a confusing tool for participants to use because each answer choice is given a six digit code to be texted in. The participants complained because they could not figure out which number to text and where to send the text.
Polldaddy offers free online quiz creation for teachers. The tool also features an app for the iPod and iPad. The free version allows you to have 200 survey responses per month and 10 questions per survey. That may limit your use of this program in the classroom especially with other Web 2.0 tools that offer more unlimited feedback options. Polldaddy also sends a detailed spreadsheet to the teacher once the poll is finished.
Quibblo is a user based site that allows anyone who is registered to create a quiz that goes out into the public domain. It is a popular tool on social media sites and easily embeddable in a class or school website. Students can use Quibblo to create their own quizzes and surveys for research in the classroom and there are thousands of other polls/surveys online from other users. Many of the other student generated quizzes on the Quibblo site focus on celebrity and music, but do not let that noise distract from the fact that this is a tool students can use for serious research in your classroom. Sometimes embedding the code into your website can be tedious, stay patient and keep trying.
KwikSurveys promotes itself as the only free and unlimited online polling tool, which makes it perfect for classroom use. KwikSurveys has a number of the same features as the other sites listed here and gives you the feedback in xls and csv format. A big plus for KwikSurveys is the site seems not to have a ceiling with the number of participants using your survey/poll at any one time. While other sites charge to survey large groups, KwikSurveys remains free.
Micropoll allows you to make some good looking surveys that are embeddable in websites. The free version allows unlimited polls and up to 200 respondents per day. That should be enough for a middle school or high school teacher teaching six classes of 30 students per day.
SurveyMonkey is popular on my campus. My administrators like using SurveyMonkey because it is easy to set up, customizable with about 50 different templates and collecting the data is simple. You can set up skip/conditional logic for questions that do not fit respondent criteria and you can filter the data to find common results or patterns. The free version allows 100 responses per survey and each survey allows a maximum of 10 questions.
And these are just a few of the options out there. Below are logos of many other choices. But before we get lost in the logos and the sheer number of data collection tools we have to remember that data gathering is just the first step in a very important process. Our professional judgment comes into play as we analyze the information and then, most importantly, act on the information. Students in higher education often complain that no action arises from the feedback they provide. If you take the time to collect an exit ticket or use the survey for pre-assessment, be transparent, let your students know how the data you collected will help them learn.