Mentimeter for Prior Knowledge Activation and Group Discussion

Mentimeter can be an interactive and versatile tool used for engaging students during online learning. Below are two examples of how it is used in Zoom classes to promote student engagement. 

Gauging student prior knowledge

To determine students’ prior knowledge, a Zoom session can begin with students answering a set of questions related to the content of the session, via an anonymous polling software – Mentimeter. 

This serves two functions: 1) it lets students participate in the poll, which primes them for active participation later in the lesson; and, 2) it allows the instructor to gauge the students’ prior knowledge and level of understanding so the Zoom session may be tailored to fill the gaps in their knowledge. 

The instructor may use the “Share Screen” function in Zoom to refer to specific Mentimeter slides throughout the Zoom lecture/discussion. This allows the instructor to move (toggle) between students’ understanding at the start of the lesson and what they learnt/demonstrated through the online activities and discussions.  

Facilitating small group discussions 

Mentimeter can be used to guide students via discussion questions and prompts during small group discussions. The instructor can assign the class into small group discussions using Breakout Rooms and ask the groups to discuss and respond to the questions on a Mentimeter poll. This provides structure to the small group discussions and requires the students to generate a brief response. When the instructor closes the Breakout Rooms and the class returns for a whole-class discussion, the instructor can draw on their responses on Mentimeter to facilitate a fruitful class discussion.