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Mentimeter

Responding to a poll on a mobile phoneWe have a campus wide license for Mentimeter. This means that it can be used by all staff and students.

Go to the Mentimeter joining page and register with your QMUL email address.

If you teach on QMUL modules but do not have a QMUL email address, please contact us on elearning@qmul.ac.uk.

What is Mentimeter?

Mentimeter is a web-based audience response system. At their most basic, these systems are the technology equivalent of asking the audience to raise their hands in response to a question. In this case, the audience use their smartphones, tablets or laptops to response to questions. This means you can ask your audience to respond in a variety of different ways, and visualise their responses as bar charts, pie charts or word clouds. They are an effect way to promote engagement, especially with large audiences.

While most usually thought about in the context of face-to-face teaching, Mentimeter is also a great way to inject some interactivity into your online sessions, no matter what webinar software you are using.

Why did we choose Mentimeter?

There are a very large number of systems like Mentimeter around now. You may have heard of systems like TurningPoint, Polleverywhere, Kahoot and Socrative. You may have used them. There are many, many others.

We were aware that Mentimeter already had a relatively large user base at QMUL. The free version of the sysem was being used by a number of people across the institution. We drew on this existing user base and conducted a Mentimeter trial during the 2018/19 academic year. The results of this trial showed that Mentimeter met the requirements of most of the staff who used it and it proved very easy for people to learn and use. We therefore asked the university to provide funding for the ongoing use of Mentimeter and we were given funding for 50 licenses.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we received funding to purchase a campus wide license which means all staff and students at QMUL can make use of the system.

How does it work?

Mentimeter is web-based which means that you do not need to install any software to use it. If you are the presenter, all you need is a web browser and an internet connection.

All your audience needs is a device that can run a web browser and can access the internet. Smartphones, tablets, laptops…Mentimeter will work on all of these. There is no app to download and no need for the audience to have Mentimeter accounts.

You need to be in a place with wifi available.

You can read about how we made use of Mentimeter at our Teaching and Learning Conference

This video from Mentimeter themselves shows how the system works.

How to create a fun event or meeting using Mentimeter from Mentimeter on Vimeo.

Do my audience need logins?

No. Only the presenter needs to login to the system. Students will only need logins if they want to create their own Mentimeter presentations and polls.

What kind of questions can I ask my audience?

Mentimeter has a wide variety of ways in which you can engage your audience.

Multiple choice

  • Straight up, vanilla multiple choice – display the results to the audience as bar charts, pie charts and scatter plots.
  • Image choice – the answer choices are images instead of text. The results display includes the image too.
  • Who will win? – A slightly gamified multiple choice question.

Free text answers

  • Word cloud – display the free text responses as a word cloud
  • Open ended questions – let the audience respond with answers up to 250 characters. You can display the answers one-by-one, in speech bubbles or as a flowing grid.

Ratings and rankings

  • Ranking – sort and prioritiese different items
  • Scales – numeric answers or rate statements
  • 2 by 2 matrix – allow your audience to rate on 2 dimensions
  • 100 points – the audience allocates 100 points amongst a number of different options

Competitions

  • Multiple choice quizzes, timed and with built-in leaderboards.
  • Free text, type the answer.

See the Creating presentations and questions on the Mentimeter website for more information.

This Mentimeter walkthrough document provides a great overview of Mentimeter functionality.

What if my students/audience don’t have suitable devices?

Perhaps not such an important question in the post-COVID-19 world!

When thinking about using systems like Mentimeter in face-to-face teaching, some staff have expressed concern about access to suitable devices to make use of Mentimeter. During our trial, staff reported that they did not come across any situation where someone didn’t have access to a suitable device. However, ways that this can be dealt with if it happens:

  1. Ask those without devices to pair up with those that do
  2. Tell your students in advance that you’ll be using Mentimeter and let them know they can use the library laptop loan scheme to enable them to participate in your sessions if they don’t have an appropriate device.

It’s a good idea to tell your students about your use of Mentimeter in advance anyway if you want to avoid a scrabble for sockets in the teaching space!

Can I use it for summative assessment?

No. Mentimeter is not suitable for summative assessment as there is no way to associate an answer with a specific student.

Staff in our trial were all interested in using Mentimeter to encourage engagement and they believed anonymity helped with that.

If I allow free text answers, what about abuse?

If you are using a Pro license, you can choose to moderate the answers before they are displayed to the audience. There is also a profanity filter.

Does it work with PowerPoint?

Mentimeter is not closely integrated with PowerPoint as some systems such as TurningPoint are. There is a PowerPoint plugin available for Mentimeter. It only works on Windows and it is currently not installed on the computers in QMUL teaching spaces. It is also not available for installation through QMUL Office365 accounts.

Mentimeter is really designed to be used in a web browser and therefore it is very flexible…you do not have to rely on the computer you are using having any specialised software installed. You also avoid lots of technical issues that can arise with PowerPoint plugins.

What about TurningPoint?

Due to the current restrictions we cannot support the use of TurningPoint hardware. We will update this information as and when the situation changes. We do not have any licenses for the web-based version of TurningPoint.

We still have a small number of departments in the university who continue to use the TurningPoint audience voting system with dedicated hardware handsets (clickers). We continue to support the use of TurningPoint however there is no central funding for TurningPoint hardware. Please see our TurningPoint page for more information about how we support TurningPoint.

How can I get a license?

Go to the Mentimeter joining page and register with your QMUL email address.

If you teach on QMUL modules but do not have a QMUL email address, please contact us on elearning@qmul.ac.uk.

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