Polling is a method used in classrooms and group learning settings where students are asked, through a show of hands or a clicker, to answer a yes/no or multiple choice question. In some cases, the responses being polled are generated from students who were cold called or participated voluntary immediately prior to it. In other cases, the options are generated by logical necessity (as with yes/no questions). In yet other cases, the instructor selects the options as with the usual multiple choice question design.
Polling differs from cold calling in that all students get to contribute to the discussion, but each has a reduced limelight. Further, the goal is generally to get a sense of the overall consensus, not to diagnose individual student thoughts.