Today I tried Mentimeter for the first time in the classroom. Previously, I have been using the ActiVote system from Promethean, but as I only have access to 32 units and my student group has 51 students, I had to find an alternative solution.
Last year I tried to use Socrative instead of the ActiVote, and got quite bad feedback from the students. The ActiVote, as a physical device has an ease of use for the user that I believe is very hard to transfer to a screen based system. With a physical device, there is no need to log in or start anything, you just pick up the device and press a button.
Anyway, I prepared a set of questions to use at the end of my lecture. Mentimeter’s question presentation is much better than Socrative’s and ActiVote’s. Also, it is good that the students are able to see the question and answer on the device if they find it hard to read the question projected in the front of the lecture hall.
My use of the student response system today was to implement peer instruction. I do not use it as a grading mechanism, so not having to create an account or provide a user name when using Mentimeter works out great for me. This is also possible in Socrative and GoSoapBox which is another system I have been looking into.
Of these services, Mentimeter is the only one to provide a projector view. What both Socrative and GoSoapBox use which Mentimeter does not provide is a virtual “room” or “event” that students can join. GoSoapBox e.g. lets me create an event and a custom event ID which the students enter to join. Once in the room or event, I can open questions that are “pushed” to the students interface. They do not need to enter a code each time.
However, as I only had one session at the end of the lecture, the lack of a room in Mentimeter was not an issue. The process was also streamlined enough that I do not think it will be a large obstacle when I have multiple quiz sessions in future lectures.
Overall, I will continue to use Mentimeter for my lectures. I think I will have to try GoSoapBox also though.