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Guide to Polls in Microsoft Teams

This guide will cover how to create a Poll in Microsoft Teams, how to launch the Poll, and how to extract the results to an Excel sheet. If you are unable to find the information for which you are looking for, please reach out to our helpdesk with a Service Request.

Creating the Poll

  1. Navigate to the Calendar tab in Teams.
  2. Find the meeting in which you want to add the poll. Right click on it and select “Chat with participants”. Alternatively, you can also select “Edit”.
  3. Click on the “+” symbol.
  4. Click “Forms”.
  5. Click “Save”. This will create a new polls tab
  6. Click on the polls tab and press the button that says “Create New Poll”
  7. Now you can create questions and answers and change the settings of the poll. Click “Save” to save the poll as a draft. Now you can launch the poll in the meeting at any time.

Launching the Poll

  1. When you are in the meeting, you can launch the poll by clicking on the Polls pane.
  2. Select “Launch” on the poll which you want to display.
  3. Once you press “Launch”, a window with the poll will pop up for everyone in the meeting. You may also respond to the poll if you wish.
  4. In the polls pane you will be able to see live results as everyone responds to the questions.

Extracting Results of Poll

Once you are satisfied with the responses and once you have viewed the results, you can close the poll and export the results to an excel file or you can delete the poll.

  1. Click the chevron next to the "View Options" button in the Polls tab.
  2. Select "Export Results".
  3. The results will be downloaded on your computer as an Excel file. This file will be in the downloads folder on your computer.

Polls on a Mobile Device

On a mobile device the poll does not pop up on the screen when it is launched. Mobile users will have to follow these steps to access the poll.

  1. Tap on the screen so that the in-call menu pops up. Tap the chats button.
  2. Now you can simply complete the pole.
  3. You can view the results as everyone provides their answers.

Notable Information

Please note that the polls feature does not currently work for channel meetings. You can add a pole to a channel chat but you cannot access it directly in a meeting. As of February 02, 2021, the polls feature only works for scheduled meetings that appear in your calendar.

Upcoming Features

  • Polling in channel meetings
  • Free text polling (Respondents are able to type their responses instead of selecting from a list)
  • Different types of polling questions.

Differences Between Microsoft Polls and Blackboard Collaborate Polls

Both Blackboard Polls and Microsoft Forms offer the same core functions, so it may be hard to choose between the two. Some of those primary differences include:

Creating a Poll

When creating a poll in Teams, the process is more involved. Firstly, before the meeting, you must navigate to the Team page and then you must hit the '+' icon. You will navigate to Forms in the list (which may be deceiving if you are looking for Polls). Once the Forms tab is added, a 'Polls' option appears in the top bar. Once that is selected you can create the poll. A benefit of polling in Teams is that the poll can be created beforehand. The entire process to create a poll in Blackboard is to simply navigate to the 'Share Content' tab in the meeting, and then selecting 'Polling'.

Poll Options

When creating a poll in Teams, there are a few options; Share results automatically after voting, keep responses anonymous, and allow others to co-author. In addition, there is an option to add multiple answers. When creating a poll in Blackboard Collaborate, there is the option to create a multiple choice poll, or to create a 'Yes/No' poll. In Teams you can have 6 options for a multiple choice question but in Blackboard Collaborate you can only have 5 options. Also, as of February 2021, Neither platform has the ability to allow participants to type in their responses instead of picking pre-determined options. Microsoft is going to continue to update their polls feature, so this may change in the near future.

Comparison of Polls

A summary of the differences between the two polling programs is described below;

Polling Comparison
Microsoft Teams PROS Blackboard Collaborate PROS
Can create polls before meeting. Easier to setup.
Easier to extract results. Can allow/disallow participants to view poll results after the poll has started.
Can allow co-presenters to edit the poll after launching. Less cluttered creation page.


We don't recommend using either of these polls for graded quiz's because of their limited features, but they are great to see if students have understood a concept or if they need more explanation. Polls allow students to provide anonymous feedback to professors. If you want to conduct a quiz for grades, we recommend setting up a quiz through blackboard.