In the last post in this series, I looked at Kahoot, a simple yet highly popular quiz that can also be pressed into service as a polling tool. Now I want to consider Vevox, a polling tool that can also do quizzes.
The name Vevox is a kind of acronym for “value every voice” (the founders are clearly classics fans) and it really shines as a quick, easy-to-use, live polling tool. Since a quiz is really just a poll with a correct answer, it works pretty well for this purpose too. You set up a session In advance, open it at the beginning of the lesson, then activate a question as required. Students join using the web app and a session ID or QR code.
Vevox has a variety of question types, including word clouds (obviously more suitable for polling than quizzes) and pin-on-image questions. However, the free plan only has multiple-choice questions, which is going to cramp your style a bit.
So far, all you have is a less entertaining equivalent of Kahoot. Two things make Vevox popular among teachers and business users alike. The first is that it has a good backchannel, known as Q&A, that allows students to ask questions at any time via the app and “like” the questions from other students that they would like to be answered. This is particularly useful in a traditional lecture format where you don’t want people butting in with questions all the time but also don’t want the embarrassing silence that usually ends a lecture when you say “Does anyone have any questions?”
The second big selling point of Vevox is PowerPoint integration. I have to admit I’m not really sold on it, but that is largely because I avoid using PowerPoint when I can, and there is no integration for LibreOffice Impress or Google Docs. Another disadvantage is that you need to have the PowerPoint plugin installed not only on the computer you use to compose your presentation but also on the one where you actually present it; early adopters can end up unable to run their Vevox-enabled presentations because the classroom computer doesn’t have the plugin. Those teething troubles aside, teachers who live by PowerPoint but want to avoid death by PowerPoint will love the way Vevox allows them to integrate questions into their presentations without a lot of Alt-Tabbing.
Speaking of integrations, Vevox integrates well with a variety of platforms including Zoom, Teams, Blackboard and Moodle. It also provides comprehensive analytics for those who like that kind of thing. Overall, its strength is thus as an institutional program. If your administration are prepared to shell out for a license and the IT team can roll it out and integrate it with existing tools, it’s a decent polling/quiz tool that can be used easily by most teachers. On the other hand, if you are a teacher working independently you might prefer other alternatives, such as Kahoot if you only want quizzes, or, if you want the all-singing, all-dancing classroom tool, Nearpod, which I will look at in the next post.