In my Teaching and Learning, Part 1 class (EDUC119B), I recently used Mentimeter (www.menti.com) in a large class (110 students), which meets in our large lecture hall in the Education Building. This class is recorded for students unable to make class.
Students created a class-wide word cloud in response to the question, “what are the current educational issues facing teachers today? This was done as a follow-up to a guest lecture presented by Dr. Lyndsey Jaber, a school psychologist with the Greater Essex County District School Board, on the topic “Bullying: Definition and Implications.”
They then held two group discussions that included: a) identify the top 5 issues facing teachers today and indicate your reason for selected these iss
ues, and b) select one of your issues and discuss how you would handle this issue during your classroom observation. A short Blackboard quiz was used to assess student learning.
Here is a link to the word cloud students created, which I subsequently posted to our Blackboard course page.
After being empowered by Dr. Jaber’s presentation, students were able to bring it into their area of interests by way of the creation of the Mentimeter word cloud and the subsequent discussions we had during the second part of class. What made this work particularly well was the speed by which the cloud developed and the observation that others in the class picked some of the same issues, which led to the group discussions that followed. So rather than lecturing about the educational issues facing teachers, the class was able to discover these issues and then share their thoughts about the top vote getters. Very powerful and impactful!
Probably the only issues we faced were that not everyone had a phone or laptop so some students partnered up, and the focus of the group discussions were probably impacted by the extroverts in the group, and may have resulted in some students not weighing in on their top issues of concern.
In reflection, when I do this again I am thinking about asking students to write a one minute essay on an issue they believe strongly about, which they can upload to Blackboard during class. That way I can be sure to give voice to all students on this important topic.