I’m planning to involve readers more in ranking sites for some of my year-end “The Best…” lists, and so thought I would investigate various web applications that allow you to create online polls and surveys. I wasn’t able to find exactly what I was looking for that would work for my purposes but, at the same time, I was able to identify a number of sites that would work great for most teacher or student surveys/polls.
I have students create polls/surveys that they generally do face-to-face, but I expect that they will be making ones that could be used in our international Sister Classes Project — and those would have to be done online. In addition, our mainstream ninth grade English classes might be creating some online polls, too.
The criteria I used in to determine if a site would make this list included that it was:
* accessible to English Language Learners and/or people who are not very computer savvy.
* difficult, if not impossible, to access polls that other users of the site might have made (to minimize the chance of finding inappropriate content for the classroom).
* able to be embedded in a blog or website.
* pretty flexible on restrictions about the number of polls created or the number of people responding to them.
Some, though not all, of the sites that made this list also allow people responding to the poll to provide multiple answers to one question, which was a key criteria in the kind of survey tool I was originally looking to use for engaging readers in helping rank sites in some of my “The Best…” lists. However, none of those had one other key element I needed — the ability to restrict voters from the same IP address. It looks like I’m going to have to pay in order to get that ability, which is not one that the vast majority of teachers or students will need in online polls/surveys they create. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if some site-owners would try to vote multiple times in my reader polls if given a chance, so I would like to make doing that at least a little more difficult.
I’d be interested in hearing people’s suggestions about which “for pay” service would be the best for that purpose.
But, for now, here are my picks for The Best Sites For Creating Online Polls & Surveys:
Number six is Micro Poll. You can ask multiple questions, and people taking the poll can provide multiple answers. You do have to register, but it’s easy to do so.
Number five is Poll Junkie. Its features seem very similar to Micro Poll. The key difference, and the reason why I’m ranking it ahead of Micro Poll, is that it doesn’t require registration in order to create a poll.
I’m ranking Snappoll as number four. It only allows you ask one question, and doesn’t allow multiple answers. However, I’m ranking it this high because it’s the only site that allows you to block multiple answers from the same IP address — for free. You can also create a poll without registering.
Zoho Polls is number three. It allows multiple questions and answers. I particularly like its feature of being able to have people taking a poll “rate” answers with one star, two stars, etc. It does require registration.
(The sites I originally ranked at number two and one went out of business)
(Editor’s Note: I’m adding one more online poll/survey application to this list — PollDaddy. Not only is it easy, and has a lot of features the other sites on my list have, it also is one of the few that has a security feature to prevent multiple voting.)
Yarp is a new web tool that very,very easily lets you create a simple online invitation or survey. I’m particularly interested in the survey aspect, and I’m adding it to this list. It has a lot of benefits: no registration is required; you can quickly type a question in and choosed various responses (a or b; true or false, yes or no); and those who respond can also write their own comments. This is a stand-out application for English Language Learners who want to use a simple survey for an in-class project or, even better, with sister classes in other places. It provides wonderful and accessible opportunities for reading and writing.
Ask 500 People is a new poll/survey application that, it seems to me, has some potential. After you sign-up, it’s extremely easy to set-up a one question poll. Other tools on this list are actually just as easy. However, “Ask 500 People” is easy and offers a wide variety of ways to set-up your poll — far more than some of the ones on that list. You can use pictures and have different kinds of responses (A or B, different ranges of agree/disagree, etc.). You can also embed your poll, and comments can be left on it. Comments aren’t moderated, but I didn’t see anything inappropriate, and I also didn’t see any inappropriate poll questions on the site either. Of course, I also only spent a few minutes looking around. It has a number of other bells and whistles that are worth considering.
Doodle is another addition. Registration isn’t required, and it’s extremely easy to create a poll that can be embedded in a blog or website or be accessed via its url address. Participants can leave comments, too. It appears to have been set-up primarily to organize group events, but it can be used as a poll for just about anything. The Make Use of blog has an extensive explanation of how it works, though it’s pretty darn simple.
ProProfs, the exceptional multi-tool site that is already on The Best Ways To Create Online Tests and The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards lists, now may be the number one tool on this list. I don’t know how long they’ve had their poll-making feature, but I just discovered it. It has just about everything I’m looking for in a tool to create polls — very accessible, you can easily add images or videos, you can include links, they’re embeddable, there are no limits in the number of responses, you can restrict voting and….it’s free.
Flisti is a new and extremely easy application that lets you create a very simple poll. No registration is required, and you can post the link to the poll on a teacher/student website/blog, or embed it there.
Obsurvey is a very flexible and easy web application for making online polls/surveys.
The Answer Garden is an intriguing combination of a survey tool and a word cloud generator. Without requiring any registration, it lets you pose a question to which people can write their own short answers. The answers appear as a word cloud below the question, with the words changing in size based on how often they are used in responses. Responders have the option of writing in their own answer or clicking on one of the words already in the word cloud. The entire “garden” can be embedded in a blog or website, and you can also link to it. The fact that anybody can answer anything to the question without identifying themselves makes it problematic — to say the least — in many school settings. But in certain mature situations, it could be very useful.
SurveyMapper is a tool to create simple surveys. It’s unique twist, though, is that it also shows you a map (of U.S. states or countries in the world) of where the people who answered the question live. Just because it gets “points” for being creative in a crowded field, I’m adding it to this list.
I’m not very impressed with the features that are available for free from Survey Monkey, but that’s the service I use when I have a poll on this site. I need to pay a few bucks, but it makes things easy if you are doing a larger poll.
QuizSnack is a simple tool that is also worth a look.
Swayable lets you create a simple survey that can include two photos (you can either upload them or grab them from the Web) and a question.
Kwik Surveys is a new online survey tool.
Hall is a new site that lets you do several things — all apparently without requiring registration — including creating a simple poll.
Kwiqpoll lets you easily create a poll — and no registration is required. You’re give the poll’s url address, but it’s not embeddable. It has no frills, but it’s easy as pie.
You can find links to these sites, as well as to many others that didn’t make this list, on my website under Student Surveys.
As always, feedback is welcome.
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