My New Question for CPE Polls

Lately, I have been doing a number of webcasts which offer CPE to those in attendance.

One of the requirements is that the participants answer poll questions during the session in order to prove they paid attention. The questions do not have to relate to the material in any way and are not quizzes with right and wrong answers, just survey questions.

As a presenter I find being interrupted four times for about a minute each time to be iksome to say the least. The webcast I am doing are 60 to 90 minute sessions and quite frankly the polls just interrupt my flow. I know #firstworldproblem.

Still I was wondering how the participants felt about this practice. After all, most of them are highly educated individuals who are trying to further their knowledge on the subjects about which I speak. Furthermore, as professionals they have some fairly high ethical standards to which I imagine they hold themselves. To me, it seems quite insulting to break from the material in order for the learners to “prove” they were paying attention.

Well, my twisted mind led me to create a poll questions which serves as a mini protest for both me as a presenter and for the participants. Feel free to use this in your own polls if you do educational programs requiring CPE. Here is the question with the results from my latest webcast.

I find it interesting that only 42 percent find this to be disagreeable to them in some way.

What do you think?


  1. I wonder what high percentage of that 42% also believe time sheets are still an effective way to “monitor” what their team members are doing each day?

  2. Great idea! The sad fact is NASBA long ago decided that e-delivery of CPE would be held to a significantly higher standard than its more traditional on-site cousin. We’ve both spend countless hours in classroom style lecture CPE sessions (AKA “butt-in-seat” CPE) where the standard is simple presence — an attendee gets credit regardless of engagement. He or she can read email, the newspaper, answer email, play solitaire, sleep, visit with a neighbor, etc. as long as they stay in the room. But e-CPE — oh no, they have to PROVE they are awake and paying attention.

    How about a solution that actually verifies a learning objective?


  3. Thanks Doug and Greg for your comments.

    The whole this is kabuki theatre. I also think we should take it a step further and make it so that presenter evaluates the attendees. This is education, is it not? What college/school has the students evaluate the teachers and not the other way around?

  4. Perhaps your question is a bit leading. Can how see how the words ‘insulting’, ‘supposedly ethical’ may trigger some emotional responses, as opposed to responses that are rational. I wonder if you polled “I like that there a polls throughout the webinar” , whether you would get a different response?
    My thought is that people do not feel that strongly about it; I suggest also adding a ‘neutral’ category.

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