virtual engagement, apps, student centred, teaching and learning
Introduction/Purpose: This research outlines the use of an eponymous app called Mentimeter to engage audiences in virtually facilitated workshop sessions, thus giving participants an active voice in the process. Multimeter is used to create presentations with real-time feedback. The Mentimeter app is useful in ‘gauging opinion’, evoking discussions and providing an anonymous safe environment for participants to ask questions within the Q & A template within virtual workshop sessions. Approach: This research will help attendees to (i) appreciate how the Mentimeter app works, (ii)understand its strengths and challenges in virtually facilitated environments, (iii) adapt the app to a myriad of settings and scenarios relevant to their own work or research, (iv) gain an understanding of a thematic qualitative analysis conducted with students (n=23) who engaged in virtual facilitated sessions, over the past academic year. Results/Findings: The thematic analysis on what participants like about using Mentimeter resulted in 3 key categories emerging: (i)Convenience (ii)Engagement and (iii)Anonymity. The challenges of Mentimeter were limited to one category of app limitations. The scale questions resulted in an overall rating of 9.4/10 for usefulness of the app and 8.8/10 for participants willingness to use the app in the future. Discussion: From a teaching perspective, the tool has proved useful for asynchronously collecting participants responses and gauging opinions to shape subsequent teaching and delivery of workshop content. Mentimeter was also useful in engaging discussion by providing instant written stimuli at the start of each workshop. The useful ‘participant total’ icon also reveals participant contribution to a defined discussion and offers the facilitator an instant insight into current discussion engagement levels from available attendees. Practical Implications: Mentimeter added an increased level of fun and ‘voice’ for participants in virtual facilitated scenarios, thereby sustaining both their concentration, engagement and interest levels.