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The role of live polling in assessment, with Bronwyn Ryrie Jones

Poll Everywhere welcomes intern Aubreyanna Murray as the guest author of this post.


This summer, I had the pleasure of interning with the Poll Everywhere marketing team. One of my assignments included finding influencers: people who excel at using Poll Everywhere and love to tell others about it.

That search led me to the Intersection Education Podcast, hosted by Corey Haley. Episode Seven features Bronwyn Ryrie Jones, an educator and consultant who specializes in assessment. I reached out to her to discuss how polling tools enhance learning and assessment.


Aubreyanna: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Bronwyn Ryrie Jones headshotBronwyn: I am a teacher, university lecturer and consultant, working with various organizations in the education sector in Melbourne, Australia. I teach in a range of Masters degrees at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (University of Melbourne), while also working in public, private and Catholic schools as a consultant in assessment. Developmental assessment is both the focus of my doctoral study, and my passion; specifically, I love working with teachers to help them more efficiently gather data to inform decisions they make in the classroom.


“Live polling is one tool which allows teachers to ascertain, during the course of teaching, how students are progressing with their learning.” – Bronwyn Ryrie Jones


Aubreyanna: You started as a primary school music teacher and now you’re an education consultant. Can you tell us about your career journey?

Bronwyn: I began my teaching career as a primary school music teacher at Banyule Primary School, an absolutely gorgeous little school in the leafy, green suburb of Rosanna in Melbourne.

In the first few years of my teaching career, I became interested in continuing my formal education, so enrolled in a Masters of Education at The University of Melbourne. Through this degree, I specialized in developmental assessment practices, and began tutoring in the various Masters programs at the University of Melbourne. Through this work, I have fallen in love with teaching the next generation of teachers. The pre-service teachers I work with at the University of Melbourne are some of the most intelligent, engaged, dedicated, and compassionate people you could hope to teach!


Aubreyanna: What changes have you observed in education (students, instructors, assessment, interaction, etc) between when you started and now?

Bronwyn: In the past decade I have seen a huge increase in pressure on teachers. There is an ever-increasing scrutiny on teachers and schools; teachers have never been held more accountable. Teaching has always been – and always will be – an intensely demanding profession. Particularly in the previous few years, I have many friends and colleagues who have grappled with the changing face of “social behaviours.”


“Live polling can bring all students’ ideas, thinking and misconceptions out into the open, simultaneously.” – Bronwyn Ryrie Jones


Aubreyanna: What can live polling do for assessment that other methods can’t? What problem are you trying to solve with it?

Bronwyn: Last year, The University of Melbourne’s Learning Environments secured a university-wide premium license with Poll Everywhere, allowing all teaching staff to tap into polling as a key teaching resource.

At the Graduate School of Education, within the teaching of a clinical model of education, we are always focused squarely on what our students are doing, saying, making or writing. We ask that our pre-service teachers pay particular attention not to “their sense” of how a lesson is going, but rather that they learn to analyze what is happening in front of them. Are students understanding? How do you know? Are your students interpreting the task at hand? How do you know?

Live polling is one tool which allows teachers to ascertain, during the course of teaching, how students are progressing with their learning. We know that teachers are best able to capitalize on data when they use it to make changes to practice, and so in my teaching I see that Poll Everywhere gives me a way of using data quickly, on the run, to guide my “next step” teaching decisions.

Learn more about Bronwyn by visiting her website, or by listening to the Intersection Education interview.


Want to try Poll Everywhere for instant learning assessment? Educator plans are free for up to forty students per class.