Tuesday 20 April 2010

Creating Social Polls and Questionnaires Using Urtak

I discovered Urtak a couple of weeks ago and took an instant liking to it. Urtak is a web based social polling application that enables you to very quickly and easily create online polls and questionnaires.
The only thing you require to get started is an email address to register as it is completely free. Here’s a short tutorial showing how it’s done.

The polls it creates are pretty simple. You just type in 'Yes , No' questions or statements and then click enter, give your poll a title and instructions and click on done. It seems like you can have as many questions as you like. The longest one I created had 45. Here are a couple that I created. Feel free to try them out and answer the questions to see how they work. You'll also be able to see the results.
Once your poll is complete you can either link to it via the URL or embed it into a web page.

Once the poll is live anyone who sees the poll can answer it without having to log in or register. Viewers can even add additional questions or statements to the poll if they do register though.

What I like about it.
  • Once users vote they can compare their answers to other people who have used the poll.
  • The poll gives a feed out of information on the right and you can even cross tabulate answers to different questions.
  • It’s great that other people can add questions to the poll.
  • I like that it doesn’t give the ‘correct’ answer but shows most popular answers. This is good to keep students thinking and questioning themselves.
  • If you don’t like the questions that people add to your poll you can easily get rid of them.
  • You can embed the poll into other web based materials.
  • It’s free and really quick and easy to use.
How can we use this with students?
  • We can use it for class / online surveys and get students to analyse and write up the results.
  • We can use it for action research to find out what things we do in class students enjoy or understand or just to get general feedback.
  • We can use it to test comprehension by creating question or statements about an online text.
  • We can set web research tasks for students by asking questions and getting them to search the web to find answers or find out if statements are true.
  • We can use it to create progress tests to evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching.
  • We can use it to create debate and explore attitudes by giving students the poll before they come in to class to get them thinking around topics to discuss in class. We could also follow this up with a post class poll to see if opinions have changed at all.
  • We could use it for needs analysis to see what students feel they need to study in class.
  • We can use it to get students to self assess their progress.
  • We can get students to create their own reading tasks by getting them to produce questions in a poll based around an online text, then they can answer each other’s questions.(Great to use with Mashpedia)
  • We can get students to practice Yes No questions forms and create questionnaires to find out more about their class mates.

What I’m not so sure about.
  • At present any poll you create is added to the Urtak directory, so it would be nice to have private URLs to ensure only your students answered the questions.
  • It might also be handy to be able to disable the option to have other people add questions to your polls as you can’t be sure that what they add will be relevant etc.
  • If students go to the directory of all polls they might find some unsuitable and potentially offensive ones.
On the whole though I think Urtak is a great free tool and one that I will continue to use. It’ helped me to make designing web based materials a bit more interactive and also enabled me to quickly and easily do research that I can share and use to inform training and workshop presentations.

I hope you find it useful too.

Related links:

Nik Peachey


Chris said...


Your website is terrific. I appreciate your hard investigations finding terrific material. I also particularly enjoy the way you analyze these sources by stating what you like and don't like. I used the newspaper generator today and it was really fun. What class seemed a bit bored but became really impressed when they saw that the eventual product appeared remarkably similar to an actual newspaper article. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks Chris

Claudio Azevedo said...

You know I love and follow your blog closely. This is to let you know that I mentioned your site for the prize - or blog chaining - as one of my 10 recommended blogs. This is part of an initiative called "Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog". The chosen blog has to copy the picture, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award . Then write ten more links to the blogs which are well worth a visit. You may check it out at http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.com
Claudio Azevedo

aliceayel said...

Thanks to your post, I managed to set up a poll for my Spanish class in Germany in collaboration with a school in the USA. The aim was to compare how youngsters practice sports in the 2 countries. You can see more details

Urtak was so easy and simple to use. Thank you!

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Alice

That's great. I actually forgot to mention that UrtaK can be used in other languages. Interesting blog you have too.



My eBooks and Lesson Plans