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Community Member

Clicker-like Functionality for Online Courses??

I am a course designer/architect for the Physics department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. We have already put one Physics course completely online (Canvas based) and have had a good experience, so we are planning to put more courses online. Some of the classroom versions of these courses currently use "clickers", which enable students to respond individually to in-class questions. These are very popular with students. We want to use a variation of this with our online courses; this variation could be called "asynchronous polling". The teacher will communicate a question to the entire online class (who may or may not be logged on at that particular moment), then the students will have a certain amount of time, a day for example, to respond (via Canvas, not via clicker). Then some Canvas software would automatically aggregate the student responses and send a message to all of the students with the results. Does Canvas have a feature like that?

8 Replies
Community Participant

My first thought is that you can create an ungraded survey in Canvas that would do most of what you are looking for. Simply create a new Quiz and select Ungraded Survey as the quiz type.

The instructor can view the survey results but I don't know of a way to have Canvas automatically report the results to the students. When I've done this, I've taken the data from the survey results and sent it out to students myself (this could be done via Announcements with a file attachment of the resulting data and/or graphs if desired).

Thanks, Susan. You are right about ungraded surveys. We use them for some things and they are very good at what they are designed to do. Unfortunately, you are also right about the surveys being unable to automatically report results or send out announcements. We can do this manually, but it is a mechanical thing that a machine could do much more efficiently. Paying a PhD Physicist to manually aggregate the results, format an announcement containing the results, etc, is so labor-intensive that it is not practical for us.

Community Champion

While there's a size limit to Big Blue Button online conferences within Canvas (maybe 25 students or so??), did you try the brand new polling feature?  Kind of cool...though there is again no way to get a report other than "on the fly" recording of numbers.

Community Champion

Canvas does not have a feature that does exactly what you are asking for at this time. However, there are several services that can be integrated or embedded into Canvas that could do this. I use SoftChalk CLOUD to create interactive online lessons, and it has a polling feature that you could use to create a poll and then embed in a Canvas page or link to in a Canvas module:


Of course, SoftChalk is a paid service, but maybe it costs less than a physics prof or even a TA.  Smiley Happy

Community Member

There is a new Instructional Tool called "Squarecap" that is fully integrated with Canvas that does polling effectively in both small and large classes. It downloads roster from Canvas and uploads the results automatically to Canvas. The poll results are consolidated and revealed immediately after the poll is closed. It has multiple choice, open response and numerical question types. It costs a fraction of what it costs for Soft Chalk.  Check it out at

Community Champion

Thanks!  @sata ‌, I am going to take a look at this for sure. Although, I do like SoftChalk.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @rational 

My trick, until Canvas gets this feature, is to use embed a Google Form, and the resulting Google Responses form into a Canvas page. That  way you get real-time feedback from student responses.

You can learn more at:

I hope this helps,


Community Member

Thanks, Dallas, for quick feed back. Good you have the Soft Chalk. It is a nice program but I found the learning curve steep and it is pricy. 

Google forms are good & free but they may not give your instant summary of student answers and integrate scores automatically into Canvas. I am not sure if they do...

Canvas is working on Quiz II, I just found out in a Canvascon that I am attending now in Dallas. May be ready for fall...This seems to be for regular homework assignment and not just feedback..