7 Ways To Integrate Social Polls In Your eLearning Course Design

Social Polls In eLearning Course Design
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Summary: Are you helping your learners compare and collaborate with their peers? Social polls inform learners and designers alike.

7 Ways To Rethink Your eLearning Design Using Social Polls

Social polling is the ideal tool for digging into the needs of learners before, during, and after training. Sharing the results of social polls with all learners allows them to compare experiences and opinions. They can then use collaborative tools to connect with learners who fill those skills gaps that the polls have highlighted. As a course designer, social polls give you the power to tailor courses for the group and the individual alike. No other technique compares to polling when it comes to assessing the opinions of a group—and changing or influencing behavior. In this article, I share tips to integrate social polls in your eLearning course design.

Putting In A Communication Channel

eLearning can feel like a solitary experience. On the part of learners, they lose the interactions with other course members when content is moved online. For L&D professionals, the feedback on what works well and what needs to be improved is more difficult to mine. Social polls are an essential channel in opening up communication between learners, SMEs, peers, and L&D teams. Making learning a social activity improves retention, adoption, and participation.

Designing With Social Polls

Social polls can be used creatively within an eLearning course design or as a microlearning asset to enhance collaboration. It creates an interactive experience whereby the learner can connect with the wider learning community. You can use social polls within the training course, or before or after to inform your course and content design. You could push a social poll as a single piece of microlearning to reinforce training messages. Allow your learners to interact with the learning experience in some of the following ways.

1. Crowd-Source Opinions To Demonstrate Desired Behaviors

Use social polls to provide learners with acceptance from others. Use social polls to show where the learner’s views sit in comparison with their peers. They will most likely change their opinions if they are different from the majority. This can be important if you are trying to train revised behaviors. For instance, show them that the new sales process is much more efficient than the old approach.

2. Display Poll Results To Motivate Learners

Create a poll to describe the results of people already applying the required skills from your training. The success of others who have adopted the new ways of working will motivate learners to embed the skills themselves. This could be useful in a pretraining microlearning asset, to entice learners to engage and participate.

3. Ask Questions That Uncover New Knowledge

Social polls don’t just uncover opinions. They are also effective at digging for wisdom. If you are trying to encourage learners to contribute to the content of a training course, ask specific questions. You will find people are happy to give their insights via a quick social poll. For example, inquire about on-the-job challenges they face or goals they’re trying to achieve in their personal lives.

4. Compare Expert And Peer Opinions

It’s often useful when formulating an understanding of a topic to see how experts view the subject. Use polls to compare opinions from peers with those of experts. This is useful in ethics training; to see where their opinions lie in comparison with others, and then against established expertise.

5. Use Polls To Surprise Your Learners

Do you have a piece of information that is likely to be contrary to popular opinion? If so, a poll is a clear way of demonstrating the truth of the matter. You can dispel misconceptions and motivate your learners to find out more at the same time. This is a great way to challenge assumptions and break limiting beliefs.

6. Focus On The Positive

We respond better to being told what to do, not what we shouldn’t do. So, use polls to reinforce positive behaviors. For example, demonstrate productivity improvements through new processes. Rather than making learners feel like they’re being singled out or judged because they still need to work on their skills or break old habits.

7. Pick The Right Platform

In addition to posting the social polls in your eLearning course design, consider publishing it on more public platforms. For example, your eLearning Facebook page, where it’s more likely to gain more attention. Learners might not log in to the LMS every day. However, they probably will take a moment to participate in a poll that shows up in their Facebook feed. This also allows you to expand your online marketing reach when trying to promote an upcoming course. Prospective learners know that you’re committed to ongoing communication and getting users involved, which prompts them to sign up for your course.


Think carefully about your objectives for running a social poll. Are you trying to influence learners in a certain way? Or are you trying to ascertain their opinions? Do you need to find expertise? Or are you looking to illustrate a point? Clear learning objectives for your course materials help identify when and where a social poll will complement and illuminate the content. Polls do something so simple but often elusive in eLearning: they put people in touch with each other. You need to decide who needs to collaborate better and design a poll that benefits everybody. Alongside improved communication between learners and L&D, you’ll see an increase in participation, engagement, and motivation. Need to influence your learners to adopt new behaviors? Demonstrate how their opinions correlate with their peers and experts, and you’ll see a significant behavioral shift.

Social polls offer a quick way to gather feedback from learners, but the scope is often limited. Surveys, on the other hand, give you the opportunity to delve deeper and gather more Big Data. But you need an LMS that features built-in survey support to collect valuable information from your online learners. Our online directory features the top learning management systems with survey engines.