This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

Live Poll During A University Lecture Does Not Go To Plan

In the grand tradition of Boaty McBoatface, a bunch of anonymous tricksters have hilariously hijacked a live poll during a University of Melbourne lecture.

Unsuspecting biosciences professor Philip Batterham told The Huffington Post Australia he used live poll tool Socrative to ask the seemingly dry question "What factors/influences make an athlete great?".

The answers kick off with 'aerobic activity'. Correct.

Next is 'roids'. Cheeky, but sure.

Then comes 'rip my exam timetable is f*****'.

That gets a raucous applause from students, and sets off a cavalcade of responses including:


'Kevin Wu'

'Bush did 9/11'

'John Cena'


'sodi pops'

'a good montage scene'

'Jon Snow is dead'


'no hair'

'techno party'

'a poop emoji'

'so much facial hair'

Sensing this class might be getting away from him, the lecturer jumps in saying: "In case you think you put me off, I'm gonna do this more often".

He continues: "OK I don't know how to stop this. This is pretty funny.

"For all the people listening at home, come to the next lecture, this one's turning out pretty well."

Batterham has been praised for keeping his cool in a quirky situation and told HuffPost Australia it was all part of the fun of a live teaching environment.

"I believe there's no such thing as passive learning," Batterham said.

"You can't learn anything by sitting still and not interacting.

"I knew an open-ended answer would open things up for some students to become playful but I was dealing with it was a lecture on quite complex genetics and I wanted to stimulate people to think openly."

Batterham said the anonymous function had its benefits as well as the ability to disguise jokesters.

"Back in the Flintstones days of teaching, I used to walk around the class with a microphone and ask questions," Batterham said.

"The thing about the mic is some students would just freeze up. With Socrative, you can submit answers anonymously and that opens things up to that more playful side but it also lets people answer seriously.

"I took that risk."

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