[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: WEB TOOL - Get Feedback Instantly with DirectPoll

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Jun 6 10:32:16 PDT 2018


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 This Week's Tech-Talk: WEB TOOL

1. VIDEO ... Get Feedback Instantly with DirectPoll
2. ARTICLE ... Get Feedback Instantly with DirectPoll
3. COMMUNICATING ... Always add "because"

NOTE: To view the VIDEO, click here<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001JIqtb2CqiAgml4OvaezRx1AFUT3sJJCmjNLyLD4DMti3s5C9y6VOC7u3ywR7X-nGbeJTwhzsPM0nm_xyz8KKzLCpdr6kWhKFx4MC1e1-fwp2CCr7dMYWWzsvvuyvy5NRRg63jGyGg5FhhGXzyQP4QNqNSMQt2ALUHGUQsEcnargvVETWNGzKD3izcZTHYNwa3a0W4l5tAeoenvFiyhWnuQ==&c=s3wFRv_6ZGWpSp8lt5arNY9PP3SQNMELTsS3sDPgDtf7un34W4FB2Q==&ch=2CeJv6IGvYszNt8vxQULmI3ZTuXGPhweYHR8kf-5kKhpaXnqZMiQbQ==>. Enter the Username and Password!

Tech-Talk: WEB TOOL - Get Feedback Instantly with DirectPoll

I'm working on a workshop called "How to Collaborate and Communicate ... Using Technology." There are many different topics I could discuss in the 45 minutes I have allotted. However, I'm not sure what specific areas of technology my audience would prefer… web tools to help them do their job, tricks to make their Word docs look sleek, Windows shortcuts… and the list goes on.

I decided that, instead of guessing what topics would be most useful, I would prepare six or seven "mini lessons" ahead of time. Then in the beginning of the presentation, I would "poll" the group to find out what they think are the three most engaging. That way I can present the specific topics that would be the most beneficial for this group.


What tool can I use?

There is a web platform called DirectPoll that was created for live voting. We can adapt it for the classroom or a conference workshop.

Since almost everyone has access to a smartphone (or tablet/laptop), it is easy and fun for the audience to answer a few quick questions ... see the group answers instantly ... and tailor what is being taught based on that input.

Here's what happens: you project questions and your audience answers in real-time.

TIP: Sure it can be used to shape what you plan to talk about. But it is also useful as an instant quiz, so you can tell immediately who gets it and who doesn't ... what concepts still need clarification and discussion.


DirectPoll is a no-cost online polling platform. There is no software and nothing to download as it is a web-based tool. With DirectPoll you can:

·     Gather instant audience feedback.
·      Display instant poll results to your audience during your presentation.
·     Engage up to 500 connected voters per poll at any time.
·     Insert the poll results into a PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentation (with an add-in) so you don't have to leave your presentation.

NOTE: DirectPoll is not designed as a questionnaire or survey where people fill in the blanks and reviewing the answers later. It's for simpler multiple choice and choosing one answer types of question. It's a poll, rather than a survey tool.

For use in an educational atmosphere, DirectPoll can:
·      Indicate the correct answer after votes have been cast.
·     Hide the answer on the results page so that people are not influenced by others'.
·     Engage students and encourage them to participate more fully.
·     Determine if your key messages were understood by the students.

Let's Create a Poll!

Go to DirectPoll.com. You don't need to sign in or create an account.

IMPORTANT TIP: It's critical to note that each poll you create is independent. After setting up and saving your poll you will be emailed a link to the admin page. SAVE this email with the link to access it in the future, as there is no way to log in with a traditional username and password.

On the DirectPoll.com home page, click the Create Your Poll Now button.

The platform is divided into three areas:

[Directpoll layout]

·     Questions - This is where you enter your poll questions (and answers if applicable).
·     Links - There are 3 types of links that will be created: Voting, Results, Cockpit (your admin area). More on this in a section below.
·     Look - Where you pick the colors/background for your poll page.

1. Set up Your Questions

·     Create your questions ahead of time in a Word-type of document. This way you can copy and paste and have your questions available for future polls if needed.
·     Choose the question type under Settings. At this time there are two question types: Single Choice, or Multiple Choice (additional question type are in the works for the future).
·     Re-arrange questions with the cross-bar arrow handle in the upper left of each question to drag-and-drop.
·     Delete a question by clicking the X in the upper right corner.
·     Continue to add your questions with the Add Question button.

[question type]

Additional question settings options include:

·     Hide answers while polling. If you are displaying the polling page while your audience is voting, the results begin to populate. Check this option if you want to hide the results until polling for that question is closed.
·     Mark the "correct" answer. If there is a "right" answer in the poll you can choose to show the correct answer on the results page to your audience.
·     Show results in %. Display the poll results in a percentage instead of number.

2. Save Your Poll

Once you are finished setting up your questions, add your email address and click the Save poll and send me the links button. This is very important. Even if your poll is not completely set up, you can save and return later.

[save your poll]

3. Links

You will get an email with three links for: 1) administering your poll (the cockpit), 2) taking the poll (vote), and 3) seeing the results.

IMPORTANT: Watch for the email that will contain the links. Don't delete this. It's your only access back to your poll.

There are three different links you'll use to run your poll:

·     Cockpit link - This gives you access to your poll admin page.

·     Vote link - This is a short url for your audience to enter to begin the poll. (You can email it to them or display it in your presentation.) They can use any device such as mobile phone (or tablet / laptop) to vote. No app is needed. The poll will open in theInternet browser.

·     Results link - Use this link to show the real-time results of the current question with your audience. You display this for all to see or send it to them.

NOTE: Polls expire 30 days after you last saved your poll. You will receive an email notification before this happens. To keep your poll longer, just click the Cockpit link and save the poll again to extend another 30 days.

4. The Look of Your Poll

Although not very customizable, you can choose the look of your poll by choosing one of the four background color options:

1.  Dark background
2.  White background
3.  Transparent background (this makes a nice choice when you are embedding your poll in a PowerPoint. It will show the background of your slide.)
4.  White background with single-colored bars

[background option]

5. Administer the Poll to Your Audience

Provide the Vote link to your audience. Be sure to give time for each question to be answered before advancing to the next one.

Be aware that you, as the administrator sees something different from your audience. It is in this "cockpit" that you control when the poll starts and what they see.

Your controls are a simple bar at the top of the page ... with the question showing in red and the start, next and stop buttons on the left. To open the poll, click Start button and it will be ready for immediate voting.

Use the Resume, Next and Stop buttons to advance through each question, the results (if you're showing them after all have voted) and close the poll when you're done.

Here's what you see in the Cockpit controls...

[Directpoll cockpit]

Here's what poll takers see on their device ...

[poll view]

Poll takers will not see the next question until you advance forward.

6. Display the Results

To display the poll results, open the "Results" link on your computer (in a different window than the Cockpit window.)

You can choose to show the question / results summary when you're using a projection screen to your audience in different ways:

·     Live, as the results are coming in, while the voting is open for each question. Participants will see the numbers (or percentage) for each answer populate in real-time.

·     After the results have been closed - after each question. (You need to click on "next" as an administrator to show these results.)

Here's what a poll results page could look like:


What a great way to get instant feedback and engage your audience!


Communicating: Writing Email
The magic of a single word: "because..."

I often go back in an email note and add the word "because"! Why? Because it helps the reader believe and support what I have to say ... and to feel good about why I said it.

When you don't use because, your statements are directive and instructive vs. showing respect through transparency. You're giving a reason. Yes, your reason can be fluff or inconsequential, but the wonder of it is, that just using the word automatically gives substance to your statement.

The word "because" is magical. It's also scientific. Studies have shown that when you add this word, people buy-into what you are saying ... with significant acceptance than without it.

So, when I'm rescheduling a meetings, telling someone I can't do something they requested, or ask for a favor, I always add the word because ... even if I have to go back to what I've written and add it in.

IMPORTANT IDEA. Let's say you give a reason, but don't include the word "because" ... will that work? Not as well! Because is a "forgiving" word, a justification word, a respectful word. The phrase itself is more important than the reason.

You can build trust and support by adding because to even the simplest of messages.

Examples... These are perfectly fine, right?
·     Do you have a minute to chat?
·     People become more self-reliant with Tech-Talk.
·     Is it OK with you to skip this week's session?

Do you agree, these are stronger?
·     Do you have a minute to chat because we need insight?
·     People become more self-reliant with Tech-Talk because they've learned where to go to solve their problem.
·     Is it OK with you to skip this week's session because I need the time.

NOTE: For those of you who recognize that we've written about this concept before, great! Repetition is necessary for important ideas. This is one of those.


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
Technology Development Consultant
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