Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process… in practice active learning refers to activities that are introduced into the classroom. (Prince, 2004, p.223)
This article looks at ways of using polling to engage learners in the classroom.
To break up long sessions of information delivery, Mentimeter can be used for quick activities that require interaction. If students have to process the information there and then, it will be easier for them to retain. There are many ways to do this.
The Word Cloud or Open Ended slide types could be used for a brainstorming activity. It could be an initial task to get students thinking about the topic (e.g. “When thinking about user experience, what do designers have to take into account?”) or a reminder at the end (e.g. “What key terms did we cover in this session?”).
This can be a useful technique in subjects that require analysis and evaluation, particularly if a topic is controversial. Ask for students’ opinions using the Multiple Choice or Scales slide types to see if they agree or disagree with certain statements, or what actions they would take in a given scenario. At the end of the session, after the issues have been discussed and presented from different angles, you can ask the questions again and see if opinion has shifted.
Alternatively, get students to express how they feel about a controversial topic at the start of the session. While rational assessment may be the ultimate goal, students will concentrate more on topics they care about, and emotional engagement in a topic may be prompted by an initial invitation to consider their emotional response.
You could also use the ability to survey opinions as an in-class case study. For example, if you were discussing whether students thought men and women valued different things in a product, you could employ one of the features of Mentimeter called segmentation to carry out an experiment. Segmentation allows you to show results based on an answer to a previous Multiple Choice question. So first you would ask students to select their gender in a Multiple Choice slide, and then present a second Multiple Choice slide where they chose the features they found important. Instructions on how to set up segmentation are on the Mentimeter help pages.
Prince, M. (2004), Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education [online], 93: 223-231. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2004.tb00809.x