Rank Order Vote

The Rank Order Vote activity enables you to create ballot items or copy and paste contributions or ideas created in other ThinkTank activities. Leaders ask Thinkers to rank items and then cast votes by clicking on the green Vote button at the bottom right. To rank items, drag one item at a time to its preferred position in the list until all items appear in order of preference.

The Rank Order Vote activity is also available as a Multi-Step activity. See the Steps topic for additional information.


  • Ballot Items column (entitled "Project Ideas" in this example) contains the items on which to be voted. Double-click on the top column title to modify the text.
    1. Green Dot (at top right of the Ballot Items column) indicates whether the column is visible to Thinkers.
    2. Green Dot (at right of the Ballot Items text entry box) indicates whether Thinkers are able to add new ballot items.
  • Comments column is the lowest level of organization. Double-click on the top column title to modify the text.
    1. Green Dot (at top right of the Comments column) indicates whether the Comments column is visible to Thinkers.
    2. Green Dot (at right of the Comments text entry box) indicates whether Thinkers are able to add new comments.
  • Abstain lets Thinkers abstain from the entire vote. For more information, see Rank Order Vote Settings.
  • Reset Results allows Leaders and Co-Leaders to reset all ballots that have been cast, while preserving all of the ballot items and criteria columns. All previous Thinker voting selections are still retained after a Leader or Co-Leader resets the vote results.
  • Vote enables Thinkers to cast their votes. After a Thinker casts a vote, the Thinker can view the results by clicking on the right arrow  next to the green Vote button.

You can either copy/paste contributions or ideas from another activity, for example, a Crowdsource activity, or an external source, such as a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet. You can also manually add ballot items to the list. See Moving Data for more details on each of these options.

To manually enter a new ballot item:

  1. If you want to enter a new ballot item in the middle of the list, select the item under which it should be placed. Once selected, the item highlights blue.
  2. Type the desired information in the text entry box at the bottom of the first column, and then press Enter.
  3. The new ballot item will appear in the list.

The Comments column displays all of the comments for a selected ballot. The name of that ballot displays in italicized font over the comments. If a ballot has no comments, the Comments column only contains the ballot item text.

To add a comment:

  1. Select the desired ballot item to which the new comment should belong.
  2. Under the Comments column, type the desired information in the bottom text entry field, and then press Enter. The new comment will appear in the list, and the count of Comments to the right of the Active Idea will be updated.

Each Thinker in a session is allotted one vote. If a Thinker changes the rank order and casts a vote again, the results update to the most recent modification. Only the last vote will be used in the voting results tally.

To rank items and cast a vote:

  1. Rank your ballot items in order of preference. To do this, drag and drop the items to reorder them with the most important item at the top. The numbering is updated as the ballots are moved.
  2. Click on the Vote button to cast your ballot and view the results.

The Voting Results are displayed after casting your vote, or you can click on the See Vote Results right arrow, located to the right of the Vote button. The results are instantaneous, and information is updated as soon as votes are cast. Select the Vote Distribution or Bar Chart tab when viewing results.


Vote Distribution

The default Results view is the Vote Distribution.

  • # Rank gives the numerical rank of each ballot item. They are ranked in order of preference as determined by everyone’s vote.
  • Title column displays each ballot item.
  • Score is a weighted average, with the higher number indicating a better ranking.
  • Average Rank provides the average ranked position in the list for each ballot item. It takes the rankings for each item and averages them.
  • Standard Deviation shows how much variation there is from the average score for that ballot item.
  • Distribution Matrix shows how many times each ballot item received each rank. Ballot item rankings that received the most votes will be displayed in warmer colors like red and orange. Those with fewer votes will be displayed in cooler colors. The warmer colors will indicate the hot spots in voter preference.
  • Back to Ballot enables Thinkers to return to the ballot in case rank order needs to be adjusted.
  • Ballot Status, in green text, displays the status of the ballot (cast or not).
  • Ballots progress bar displays the number of ballots cast out of the total number of possible votes, which is the total number of Thinkers.


Checkbox Functionality - Copy Ballot Items

In the Vote Distribution view, you can select all or specific ballot items to copy into another activity. For example, you could select the top 5 results, and copy them into a Crowdsource activity to discuss them further. To select all items, click on the green check mark at the top left, and all items will be highlighted blue. Alternatively, you can single-select the items to copy. Once you have selected the items, click on the Copy  icon from the Activity toolbar to copy items to the clipboard.

Bar Chart Results

  • Y-Axis stacks the ballot items vertically in order of rank, as determined by the vote.
  • X-Axis shows the number of ballot items horizontally.
  • Score is the weighted average and is shown at the end of the bar. The higher number indicates a better ranking.
  • Standard Deviation shows how much variation there is from the average score for that ballot item, and it is shown by color. Green indicates a smaller standard deviation and, and red indicates a larger deviation. Hovering over the bar of the ballot item also gives the actual value of the standard deviation.
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