Make your own quiz | Poll Everywhere vs. paper

Poll Everywhere is an entirely different way to make your own quiz. This online audience response system turns your questions into a live trivia contest. You run the contest. Participants play using their phones. And everyone cheers when they see their names rise and fall on the leaderboard.

You can easily create a quiz online that can be played on any web-enabled device, with any crowd.

In this post, I compare Poll Everywhere to the classic, paper handout method of making your own quiz. I specifically examine the Competitions activity in Poll Everywhere, which you can try right now. Check out the video below for a quick rundown on Competitions. Then click the button to create your first competition.

Create Competitions


Make your own quiz and share it with others

Paper quizzes are flexible to create, but difficult to share. You can type up any style of question. The only limits are your imagination, and the principles of bias-free questions. But then it’s time to share the quiz. That means printing, distributing, and tracking all those handouts. No sweat if you’re with a small group – but it can quickly balloon into a huge pain with bigger crowds.

Poll Everywhere Competitions is limited to multiple choice questions, but is much easier to share with others. You can create as many multiple choice questions as you like, with as many response options as you like. But at least one option must be set as correct. No trick questions here.

Once your quiz is complete, simply hit ‘Play’ to start collecting responses. A URL will appear that leads to your personal response page. Share this URL with anyone you want to participate in your quiz. Poll Everywhere is built for live participation – whether those participants are local or remote.



Collecting responses and grading results

Paper quizzes play out in four steps. First, you create the quiz. Then everyone responds to all the questions all at once. After that, the handouts are collected and graded. Finally the scores are revealed, all at once.

The person running the quiz has a lot to manage between creating, tracking, and grading all these quizzes. There can also be a lot of downtime for the audience as the early birds wait for the last few participants to finish responding.

Poll Everywhere Competitions disrupts this flow with a cadence that is easier on everyone. Competitions shows a leaderboard after each question. Not only does this keep everyone on the same page, it lets them know where they stand as they go. It also gives participants a nice mental break between questions. And, better yet, it creates a little friendly rivalry in the audience.

The person running the quiz also gets a break since everyone’s responses are automatically saved in Poll Everywhere. The final results are waiting in their Poll Everywhere account as soon as the quiz is complete – no extra work required.



Identifying participants and recording results

Paper quizzes all have one crucial question: What’s your name? If someone forgets to put their name on their quiz, that can really put you in a bind. Maybe you can reverse-engineer the culprit if you have another list of participants handy (and have the extra time).

Poll Everywhere Competitions has a few safeguards against unknown participants. First, it gives everyone the option of typing in a screen name at the start of the quiz. If people skip this step, one is assigned automatically. You can also enable the ‘registered participants only’ setting to identify participants by their Poll Everywhere account information.

Accurate information is vital when recording the results of your quiz. Poll Everywhere includes a reporting feature on certain paid plans that lets you summarize an entire activity into a single, digestible summary. This shows participation rates, final scores, and how everyone responded.



Paper quizzes versus Competitions

When comparing Poll Everywhere Competitions to the traditional paper quiz, it all comes down to preference. Paper quizzes allow for all types of questions, but are a pain to keep track of. Poll Everywhere Competitions limit you to just multiple choice, but automate most of the work and injects a game-like feeling. Give it a shot – make your own quiz, and see how it compares today. Then be sure to share your creations on social media, and tag @polleverywhere.