Implementation Guide: How to Use Real-time Polling to Increase Engagement and/or Assess Comprehension as a Graded Assignment

Who is this great for?

  • Instructors looking to engage students during their class (virtual or in-person)
  • Instructors looking to check for understanding of course content during, before, or after instruction
  • Instructors who have historically used clickers or in-class polling as a graded assignment
  • Instructors looking to grade class attendance or increase lecture attendance
  • Professors with synchronous virtual or in-person lectures


Student implementation: 

  • Students ask 1, answer 2 (or more) per Packback interval, for 10-20%+ of the grade (Packback Questions)
  • When directed, Students answer In-Class Polls created by the Instructor or TA
  • "Packback Polls" or "Attendance" is a separate assignment category from Packback Questions in the LMS gradebook for 5-10% of the grade

Instructor implementation:

  • Create an assignment category & assignments for your standard “Packback Questions” Discussion assignment and then create a separate category & assignments for “Packback Polls” or “Attendance”
  • Create In-Class polls for your students at any point in the semester. Set to active when you’re ready for students to answer. Set to inactive to prohibit further answers.
    • It is highly recommended to release only 1 poll during class if you are planning on grading the poll, as you are able to download 1 report per poll.
  • Download the poll results via the downloadable CSV report (one CSV per poll question). Provide points for students who replied (or replied appropriately) to the poll, and import into LMS via the appropriate assignment category
  • Utilize Match & Message to praise top performers & increase engagement 
  • TAs can support Match & Message, Featuring & Custom Feedback, and/or Poll Grading, if applicable

Instructor and/or TA Weekly Workflow

"To-do" on the day after the Packback Questions assignment due date (15-20 minutes)

  • Download reports for any polls released last week (make sure they are set to inactive once you no longer want students to reply) and grade according to established recommendations
  • Head to the Insights Dashboard and review participation from last week
  • Head to Match & message. Send personalized messages based on Insights
  • Create your polls for upcoming lecture - make sure they are hidden until you're ready for students to reply!

When you’d like to use polls “in-class” (5-10 minutes)

  • Set poll(s) from "hidden" to "active" once you’d like students to be able to view & reply to the poll
  • Once you've gathered student responses & would like to prohibit further responding, set to "inactive"
    • Optional: Discuss poll answers in-class (whether in person or online)
  • If you want to force students to justify their response, use a homework poll instead of an in class poll

If you’d like to spend more time on Packback or further engage TAs, we recommend utilizing other engagement tools (“give feedback, feature, and spark) as well as utilizing Match & Message to reach out to students during the assignment window before the due date to encourage early and/or complete engagement.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our Support Team by filling out our Request Form or reaching out to

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Still have questions? We're here to help.

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please reach out to Packback’s team! Our team is eager to help, speedy to reply, and available 7-days a week. Let us know how we can support you!

Submit a request Or email