Increasing student engagement in the classroom
Kirstie Harrison – Lecturer, School of Nursing
Mentimeter is a cloud-based solution that allows the facilitator to engage and interact with students in real time. There are a variety of tools available within MentiMeter which can be used in a variety of classroom situations. For example, polling, word cloud, speech bubbles and free text.
One of the selling points is that Students can give their input using a mobile phone or any other device connected to the Internet, and there are few students that don’t have their phone sat in their pocket! The session was taught to Second Year Student nurse on the topic of Intravenous Fluids. The session began with whiteboard markers being handed out and asking those who felt comfortable to come up the whiteboard and wrote a phrase or a word they associated with the topic area. Approximately nine answers were written out of a possible twenty-three students present.
The session included the key messages and a demonstration of the practical with a student who felt confident with ‘priming a line’. Peyton’s four-step approach was used to demonstate, as it was felt that this helps all students ‘get their head’ around the skill. Students are able to watch the process and then talk the demonstrator through the skills, which consolidates their learning before they get to try it ‘hands on’.
Following the session students were asked to take out their mobile phones and type into the browser the web address: www.menti.com. a Mentimeter poll had already been set up that included the exact same question that I asked at the start of the session. The benefit of Mentimeter is that it provides the students with a means to type their thoughts down and then send them in real time. The responses are anonymous, which not only helps those students who do not want to stand up in front of a classroom to contribute but also helps to ensure that the identity of the respondent does not affect the responses of others in the group.
Due to Mentimeter’s user-friendly accessibility, the student’s opinions can be turned into real-time tangible actionable data. In addition, the various points could be discussed, identifying key themes and messages, which in turn can be reflected on in the following the session.