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Teaching and learning online has brought many challenges to teachers and students. When teachers try to involve students in classroom discussion and learning activities, students are restricted by the screen, which requires teachers to seek useful technological tools to engage students in online classrooms. This article introduces six free polling tools by comparing the common features that can be applied in online or dual-mode teaching. Teachers are expected to select anyone from below to meet specific teaching needs.
Six free polling tools include:

  • Polling and Q&A in Zoom
  • Poll Everywhere
  • Mentimeter
  • Q&A in Google slides
  • Slido
  • Pigeonhole
Zoom Poll Everywhere Mentimeter Q&A in Google Slides Slido Pigeonhole
Audience Size 300 max. 40 max. Unlimited Unlimited 100 max. 500 max.
Participation in Zoom For teachers: https://www.polleverywhere.com/

For students: https://pollev.com/

For teachers: https://www.mentimeter.com/

For students: https://www.menti.com/

in Google Slides https://www.sli.do/ For teachers: https://pigeonholelive.com/

For students: https://pigeonhole.at/

Question types/ format Polling, Q&A Multiple choice, Word cloud, Q&A, Survey, Open-ended Multiple choice, Word cloud, Open-ended, Scale, Ranking, Quiz, Q&A, etc. Q&A Live poll, Quiz, Q&A Polling, Q&A
Upvote in Q&A
Export data N/A
Distinguished features ✓ Features like Icebreaker, Leaderboard, Emotion scale, spotlight, Bulletin board, 2X2 matrix, Assign teams ✓ Unlimited audience size, questions, content slides and quizzes
✓ All templates available (details)
✓ Data analytics
Data analytics ✓ Event agenda
✓ Embed videos (for free until Dec 2020)

All six tools are user-friendly and supportive in a fully online setting. In dual-mode teaching, on-site students are supposed to attend lessons and discussions without Zoom environment. Therefore, Mentimeter could be the best choice to engage both online and on-site students because they can quickly join the discussion and share ideas via menti.com without registration and even can upvote questions to prioritise them.

Now a campus license for academic staff and students to use Mentimeter for facilitating work and study is available. The Mentimeter should be a useful tool for engaging students as it provides various question types and presentation formats that support online communication and multiple teaching and learning activities. You can login to Mentimeter through single sign on with the company name “The University of Hong Kong” and “HKU”.

Written by Cindy Liang; Reviewed by Leon Lei


The Department of Surgery of HKU Medicine presents Asia’s 1st Multidisciplinary Surgery MOOC – So You Want To Be A Surgeon? This MOOC is a first of its kind global online course in surgery co-created by 30+ world class surgical experts featuring 15 subspecialties of HKU Medicine. The 6-week Surgery MOOC will commence on 1 Dec 2020 and is currently open for registration on edX platform.

Registration and Learn more


Date: 21st Oct 2020 (Wed)
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm
Venue: Virtual Venue – via zoom
(For HKU staff only)


Dr. Leon Lei, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative
Ms. Sharon Keung, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative

With the current social distancing measures being put in place, teachers may be looking for ways to conduct high-stakes assessments online. However, teachers may worry that conducting an assessment online would require high digital literacy skills while some are concerned about the risk of academic misconduct in the online environment. This webinar will look at strategies in conducting a high-stakes online assessment with proctoring and conducting one without proctoring. We will also introduce some good practices and design considerations in developing high-stakes online assessments.

This webinar will cover the followings:

  • Conducting high-stakes assessments with live proctoring and self-proctoring
  • Conducting high-stakes assessments without proctoring: designing good open-book questions

Colleagues are very welcome to sign up for this webinar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Date: 6 Oct 2020 (Tue)
Time: 1130am – 1230pm

Mr. Mathew Pryor, Faculty of Architecture
Mr. Gavin Coates, Faculty of Architecture
Dr. Leon Lei, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative
Ms. Sharon Keung, Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative
Mr. Patrick Desloge, Centre for Applied English Studies (Digital Literacy Support Services)

Online Registration (For HKU staff only)

During the current pandemic, teachers from the Faculty of Architecture have been looking for creative ways to maintain field trip experiences for students. Taking advantage of Twitch (video live streaming service), and Zoom, Mathew and Gavin from the Faculty of Architecture have been conducting virtual field trips in and around Hong Kong. Linking these real-world activities to the virtual T&L environment has helped students stay connected with their studies and to achieve authentic outcomes for their projects. The virtual field trips are also a synchronous teaching experience with the possibility to receive feedback in real time with the students. In the webinar, Mathew and Gavin will share their experiences and the techniques they use. Patrick, Leon and Sharon will share their experiences of designing, preparing and implementing virtual field trips, and discuss the range of possible applications for this approach. They will also look at the support and resources available at HKU for conducting virtual field trips.

This session will cover:

  • Experience sharing by the Faculty of Architecture in designing, preparing and implementing a virtual field trip
  • Create a virtual field trip with Google Earth
  • Support and resources at HKU in conducting a virtual field trip

Colleagues are very welcome to sign up on this workshop. Look forward to meeting you there!

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