By Michael Madeira

Schooling during a pandemic can feel confusing and frustrating at times, but through hardships come innovation. Dr. Michael Boling joined Northwest College of Arts and Sciences faculty this year, and he has found a new solution to problems in his previous teaching experiences through the use of Mentimeter.

“In psychology we see that with bigger groups, fewer people are likely to raise their hands and answer questions,” Boling said, “With Menti, I’m getting much more answers than I normally would if I were to ask the same question in person.”

Mentimeter is an online tool that allows people to create interactive presentations, with tools like polls, word clouds, and live Q&A’s. Teachers at Northwest have used Menti for all sorts of different activities during their online teaching. Some teachers use it to purely take attendance, they have students type in the code and then type in their name so the teacher can see everyone who is in class. Other teachers, like Boling, are using it to somewhat anonymously let students ask questions.

Not having to raise your hand and ask a question that may seem silly gives students the confidence to ask any question they have or submit an answer without worrying that their peers will think less of them for getting it wrong. This also helps with the issue of interrupting. Menti enables students to ask questions that they would be scared to otherwise ask, but not feel the fear of cutting off the teacher during something important.

“Don’t be afraid to interrupt, if I’m sharing something on the screen, I’m not going to be able to see you, so please interrupt if you have a question,” Boling said.

Boling said, “I will definitely be using Menti even when we are back in person.” So be sure to look out for Menti in your future classes.