Student Response Systems

Student response systems (SRS) provide faculty with the opportunity to poll students live during a classroom session. Responses are collected in real-time from students by having them "click" to answer a question from a specific hardware device, laptop, or a mobile phone. The responses from students are then consolidated and displayed to the instructor, who has the option of sharing feedback with the participants. Typical use cases of SRS include the ability to: take attendance, capture students' attention, checking for understanding, formative assessment techniques, quizzes, discussion starters, and student engagement or active learning strategies.

At GVSU, there is currently no campus standard or enterprise SRS solution. We recommend exploring the pedagogical use of instructor purchase or free polling tools to help reduce the extra fees and financial burden that students may experience with a required student purchase/vendor-based system. 

The following list of solutions are some of the more popular tools being used by faculty at GVSU. Currently Poll Everywhere and TopHat are the most commonly used in classes ranging in size from 20 - 140 students. In a recent survey of existing SRS faculty users, 41.2% indicate using the system multiple times per class, 86.5% use the system to gauge student learning, 34.6% to take attendance, 28.8% for an end of class wrap up, and 25% for a pre-class review. In addition, 46% of faculty have indicated passing along the cost of the SRS system to students at $20 to $30 per semester, while 42% are using a free system with no cost to students.

Free to Use


Kahoot is a free system used to create learning games. You can make a series of multiple choice questions in which videos, images, and diagrams can be added to amplify engagement. Players answer questions on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson.


Acadly is a free, in class student response system. With Acadly, you can create polls and quizzes, and get results from students in real time. This student response system also includes instant messenger, and attendance tracking. Acadly is available on any device with a browser, and is available for download as an iOS app or Android app. 

Pear Deck

Add interactivity with Pear Deck, into your Google Slides presentations such as drag and drop, multiple choice, free response and drawing. Currently limited to 100 students per session.

Limited Free or Faculty Purchase Options

Poll Everywhere

On the surface, Poll Everywhere is a simple application that works well for live audiences using mobile devices like phones. Students participate by visiting a fast mobile-friendly web page for your event, sending text messages, or using Twitter. Instructions are displayed on-screen. The poll that is embedded within the presentation or web page will update in real time. Advanced uses include texting comments to a presentation, texting questions to a presenter, responding via the web, and SMS interactivity in print, radio, and TV.

This solution is free for up to 40 student participants.


CrowdSignal is a free, online tool that allows you to create customizable surveys, polls, and quizzes in minutes. Collect student feedback and responses from the web, email, iOS devices (iPhone & iPad), or social media accounts. 


QuestionPress offers polling, surveys, forms, and online assessments while also providing live interaction responders. QuestionPress is web-based, it works on any Internet capable computer or device.


Socrative provides a classroom app for fun effective engagement.


Slido is a free response system with live Q&A and polls. Engage your students with polls to ask opinions and display results in real time. Students can anonymously ask questions from any device and vote for the ones they like the most. 

Student Purchase Options

Top Hat

This is an app-based solution in which faculty may decide to require students to purchase for $24 per semester, $36 for 1 year, and $72 for 4 years. Top Hat  will let faculty ask questions, poll students, take attendance, and more, all from the convenience of any personal device. Top Hat offers Blackboard integration. This integration allows faculty to easily import course rosters into Top Hat and enable student grading feedback to be included in the Blackboard Grade Center .


This is a device solution in which faculty may decide to require students to purchase. Turning Point will let faculty ask questions, poll students, take attendance, and more, all from the convenience of any personal device or a hardware based clicker. TurningPoint offers Blackboard integration.

Learning Catalytics

Learning Catalytics is a product by the textbook publisher Pearson. This is a mobile app solution and students are charged a license fee for a device by semester or year.

iClicker (Reef Polling)

iClicker (formerly Reef Polling) is a digital teaching platform used to engage students. Instructors can poll students and get results in real time. This student response system is available on any device with a browser and is available for download as an iOS app or Android app. A hardware device is also an option. Students are charged a fee to use.