What is Mentimeter?
Mentimeter is an online polling, questioning and voting tool that you can use in your classes or presentations, whether they are face-to-face or online, synchronous or asynchronous. UCL has a site-wide licence for Mentimeter that you can access via your UCL account. To sign up, go to www.mentimeter.com/join/ucl .
Mentimeter falls into the category of applications called Audience Response Systems (ARS) or Electronic Voting Systems (EVS) and they are conceptually simple. The presenter poses a question on the screen, and invites the audience to vote or respond as directed. Once polling closes, everyone can see an aggregated graphic display of the responses. We have long used the TurningPoint voting system at UCL, although this had the drawback of being restricted to certain rooms or requiring handsets to be booked and carried across campus. Mentimeter can be seen as a modern web-based replacement of that system, and can be used whenever and as often as you need.
In 'presenter-pace' mode (the default), the presenter moves the question slides as the participants complete them live - this can be used in a Blackboard Collaborate or Teams session. Mentimeter can also work in 'audience pace' mode, which means that you can set up questions which are completed asynchronously by your student group. So you might for example set a poll to be completed in the early part of the week, and review the outcomes of it at the end of the week. Dr Silvia Colaiacomo from the UCL Arena Centre has written a case study on the use of Mentimeter for student engagement during asynchronous teaching. You can also find out more about these different modes and watch an introductory video about using Mentimeter.
Please note that the PowerPoint plug-in for Mentimeter is not supported at UCL at this time; voting presentations using Mentimeter are set up through a web browser instead.
What can Mentimeter do?
An ARS can be a very powerful teaching and learning tool. It may be used for:
- Diagnostic testing: find out what your students already know.
- Contingent teaching: use the results of polls to change your teaching plans to deliver exactly what the audience needs.
- Promoting group discussion: poll and ask for feedback on why different responses were chosen.
- Peer instruction: Encourage students to discuss questions and collectively agree on an answer.
All of these uses have one common purpose: encouraging students or participants to be actively thinking about the subject being discussed or presented.