Using a Poll and a Second Chat Pod to Wrap Up the Class Session

The use of a poll and a second chat pod to end a class session promotes student reflection on the material and connection of course content to social work practice. This chapter will discuss ways to utilize the chat and poll pods to wrap up and reflect on a live class session.

Teaching and Learning Goal 

My goals for using polls and chats to end a class session include:

  • Encouraging mindful reflection on the material
  • Creating a space to share final thoughts and bring a sense of closure to all students
  • Gauging student takeaways and feedback on the day’s lesson to adapt content in the future
  • Building a seamless transition from one week to the next by sharing the responses across class sessions
  • Fostering a classroom environment where student opinions and feedback are valued
  • Giving students multiple avenues for engaging with complex ideas and allowing students to find broader meaning in their work

My goals for using polls and chats to end a class session include:

Activity and Results

At the end of a long class session, students and instructors may feel tired and overwhelmed by the material covered over the last hour or three. It is tempting to sign off and move on with one’s day without processing the class content or reflecting on lessons learned. The primary chat pod is often filled with goodbyes while students log out of the classroom.

However, it's helpful to build in time to process and reflect. The pedagogical practice of utilizing different avenues for learning and engagement with the material is standard in the online classroom. In this example, I ask students to reflect on the class content in two separate pods: one short-answer poll and one unique chat pod, used to distinguish the reflections from the comments and questions posted in the primary chat pod.

The polling function in Adobe Connect is semi-anonymous, meaning that if the poll results are broadcast, the student names attached to each answer are not visible in the classroom setting (they are recorded and available to faculty via the back-end reporting tool). The chat pod, on the other hand, displays student names as they respond to prompts. Instructors may prefer to make some reflection questions semi-anonymous by using polls and others “public” within the classroom setting by using chat pods.

It is common for instructors to repeat the same questions at the close of each class session, such as “What is your key takeaway from this class?”, which turns the process of reflection into a routine one for students who know they will be expected to share their thoughts at the end of each class. This practice deepens their engagement with the content and provides an opportunity for giving feedback on what lessons were most powerful or memorable for them.

It is also common to ask students to connect lessons learned in the class session to their work outside the classroom. In this example, I ask “What’s one idea you heard today that you’re excited to implement in your social work practice?” This allows students to imagine how their professional development can be enhanced by classroom learning, and reflect more deeply on the tools that will be useful to them in the field.

Other questions that might be considered for closing out a live class session include:

Technical Details and Steps

Before class:

Step 1: I create a “Wrap up” layout in Adobe Connect to use in the final minutes of the live class session (Image 1). The layout includes the video pod, attendees pod, regular chat pod, and a share pod with slides. I make the share pod small enough to include space for the poll pod and second chat pod side by side.

Step 2: I include a slide in my slide deck that contains the text “Final Thoughts” and the two questions that will be posed to students.

Step 3: I set up a poll using the “short answer” question type, then type in the question “What is your key takeaway from this week’s class?”

Step 4: I type a question into the new chat pod after changing my chat color in the “Pod Options” menu to green: “What’s one idea you heard today that you’re excited to implement in your social work practice?”

During class:

Step 1: Five minutes before the class end time, I display the “Final Thoughts” slide and remind students that there will be two reflection questions as displayed on the slide.

Step 2: I then move to the Wrap up layout, open the poll, and read both reflection questions aloud to students.

Step 3: As responses come in, I broadcast the poll results and read aloud the responses to both questions. Ideally, there would be time to review all responses before the official class end time.

After class:

Step 1: I again review the closing reflections and add them to a slide to share at the start of class the following week, reminding students of their takeaways and ideas.

What this looked like in Adobe Connect

Image 1: A “wrap up” layout in an Adobe Connect classroom displaying the video pod with this chapter’s author on webcam, attendees pod, chat pod, and “Final Thoughts” slide next to a short-answer poll and final chat question. Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe.

Image 1 Alt-Text: This is a screengrab of an Adobe Connect classroom. In the upper left corner, there is a Video pod that shows the instructor and underneath that, there is a narrow Attendees pod that stretches from just under the Video pod to the bottom of the layout. In the center, there is a Share pod that shows a slide titled “Final Thoughts.” It includes the two closing questions that are in the Poll and Chat pods. To the right of the slide there is a Poll pod that asks “What is your key takeaway from this week’s class?” To the right of the Poll pod is a Chat pod that prompts students with the question “What’s one idea you heard today that you’re excited to implement in your social work practice?” Below the slide, poll pod, and chat pod, is another chat pod, referred to in this chapter as the primary chat pod, that would have been present for the entirety of the class session. It has a message that says “Thank you for your participation today!”


I am grateful to the CSSW Online Campus team for the opportunity to contribute to this book, and in particular to Matthea Marquart whose Pedagogy Institute class sessions guided the creation of this chapter.

Delia Ryan
Delia Ryan is a licensed social worker in New York. She currently works as a Forensic Social Worker at The Legal Aid Society of New York City and a Live Support Specialist at Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CSSW). At Legal Aid, Delia conducts psychosocial assessments with clients facing lengthy prison sentences and writes mitigation reports to the Court and Bronx DA's office advocating for non-incarceratory alternatives. She also supervises Master's-level student interns. At CSSW, Delia is a co-leader of the Institute on Pedagogy and Technology for Online Courses, Associate for the Institute on Technical Skills for Online Event Production, mentor to incoming Live Support Specialists, and member of the Quality Assurance administrative team. Delia holds a BA in English from Rutgers University and a Master's of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

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