Using The Online Survey Tool Mentimeter To Promote Student-Led Learning

Using The Online Survey Tool Mentimeter To Promote Student-Led Learning

Mentimeter is an online student survey tool that can be used in many ways with a range of options, including word clouds, multiple-choice questions, and open-ended comment walls.

Educators can simply set up a survey slide and then give students the code to log in on their device (such as their mobile phone or the internet browser on a laptop) and submit their answers. It is also worth noting, in terms of accessibility, that a simple range of colour themes offers varying contrasts for learners who may have a visual impairment or have dyslexia. One dyslexic student recently told me that the Mentimeter theme showing a peach background with black text is one of the clearest tools she has used.

This short edtech review considers three simple but effective ways that Mentimeter can be used in the classroom with learners of all ages, especially those who sometimes remain quiet in verbal discussions.

Assess the prior learning and current understanding and promote student-led learning

Mentimeter is a great way to establish what your learners already know on a topic as you begin your lesson. Simple set up an open-ended wall with a question or title such as ‘what do we already know’ and let your students type in their answers. The great thing about Mentimeter is that you can then screenshot and share the results, or download them or embed them into a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) so that the results can be referred back to later in the course of the module or topic to show progression. Equally, starting the session with a wall of ideas, and then ending the topic with the same question and allowing students to submit their new knowledge is a great way to instantly show progress and a deepening of subject understanding.

Rank ideas and use the results as the stimulus for a discussion

The good thing about Mentimeter is there is a participant counter in the corner so the teacher can see how many people have taken part. Instead of giving students a topic or question for debate, what not make live results part of the discussion to further allow for student-led learning. As an example, you could set up Mentimeter slide questions on which school subjects from the curriculum are the most valuable. Students then rank the subjects on their own devices. Once all students have voted, the board will display the overall results. Students can then work in pairs or groups to discuss the final results and share their ideas, defending their choices and assessing the group outcome.

Give space for questions and comments as an end ticket at the end of a session

Mentimeter is great as it is an anonymous tool, meaning students do not have their names assigned to their answers. I often find that setting up a Mentimeter for questions around assessments leads to students feeling more comfortable to ask questions they might have deemed ‘silly’ to ask in front of their peers. Often I will set up a Mentimeter with the title ‘any questions?’ and present it at the start of a lesson. Students can then add any questions or comments during the whole session. About five minutes before the lesson ends, I will display the Mentimeter again and give time for students to submit any new questions or comments, or for me to address any that have been added during the session. This can also be a valuable tool for distance learning, or remote, students; you can present a Mentimeter and email out the Mentimeter link or code (or display it on your VLE) and students can still post their answers without needing to be in the physical classroom. 

If you are looking for a simple, quick and effective edtech tool to bring into your teaching; Mentimeter just might be it.

About the Author
Author: Dr Poppy Gibson
Dr Poppy Gibson is a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin whose key interests involve children’s psychological development and mental health. Poppy uses ed tech to support her adult learners at the Higher Education level to promote engagement and progress.

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