How I use Mentimeter

I have been using Mentimeter for several years. Prior to that I used mQlicker (now defunct, but a great product developed by UTS academics) and before that ‘show of hands’. It isn’t the ‘tool’ that’s important. It’s the enabling of a more student-focussed approach and the ability to find out what students think and where students are at that is important.

Mentimeter is just one of these many tools that could be used. I find it easy to use, but it does take some time to create the questions and set it up for easy integration into classes.

Checking in

I use Mentimeter in a few simple ways. I use it to check in with students, to find out what they’re thinking and to ask their opinion on different things. For example, I might ask them what they think about current teaching and learning practices. Usually I use just a multiple choice question type for this.

Recently, during Zoom online classes, I have had some music playing so there’s no awkward silence. The music often initiates ‘small talk’ discussion which contributes to creating a more relaxed/informal environment. Usually I wait until at least half the class have responded before showing the results. When I reveal the poll results we’ll briefly discuss them.

During Zoom classes there’s usually a lot of discussion happening in parallel in the Zoom chat which has been great. For example, during and following the ‘icebreaker’ activity poll (see below) there was discussion about the “it depends on the activity” response.

Poll in Mentimeter showing results for 'What do you think of 'icebreaker' activities? Answers are – Love Them:  17, They're OK and I like to do them: 30, They're okay but I'd rather not do them: 14, Hate them: 0, It depends on the activity: 23

Challenging misconceptions

With regard to subject/content-related use of Mentimeter, I use multiple choice questions related to specific topics/concepts. These are usually designed to draw out common student misconceptions. In the example below you can see that although the correct answer was the most chosen option, well over half the class chose an incorrect answer. This provides an opportunity for discussion about the topic/concept and helps students to feel more comfortable with sometimes getting things wrong. 

Tips for using Mentimeter

Since it isn’t possible to write mathematical functions and equations in Mentimeter, I sometimes use the ‘Display an image on this slide’ option like I did in the above example. In the image below you can see where to select this option in Mentimeter. When presenting, you need to press S or click on the button to show the image. 

If I’m using PowerPoint in class, I’ll just have the question that includes the images and formulae/equations in Powerpoint and then just have the letters as options in Mentimeter. Sometimes, especially in on-campus classes, I’ll embed the QR code as well as the URL and code so students can just point their phone at the QR code on screen to access the Mentimeter poll. In online Zoom classes, I copy the voting link into the Zoom chat. See the options under the Share button in the image below.

The Share button is circled in red and there's an additional window shows options: Invite collaborators, Participation and Presentation sharing. This example shows Participation and asks who can join and vote and also shows a voting link and download QR as options.

For more tips and ideas for using Mentimeter in the classroom, take a look at the other two blogs in this series from Beate Mueller and Michaela Zappia.

  • Hi Sally, I’m not sure what defines ‘better’, I guess I choose depending on the type of Menti activity and what I’m trying to achieve. If they need to concentrate I’ll choose something not too distracting, but if it’s an ‘icebreaker’ I’ll choose something more interesting/fun. I usually play something from my personal playlists. Stuff that I listen to. That way I’m sharing something about me. I have played soundtrack to Japanese Anime movie “Your Name”. That led to some interesting discussion. I try to choose interesting but not too distracting music. I’ve played J-rock/pop, jazz-rock fusion (students call it ‘elevator’ music), mainstream pop/rock.

  • Hi Terry – what music do you play during the Menti activities? Does one type of music work better than another in your experience?

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