Interactive Classrooms

Encourage student participation with these word cloud activities

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Olivia Hanifan2020-06-16
Getting students to participate in discussions is a challenge most teachers face. Fostering an environment where students feel comfortable to open up, express their opinions and discuss is an important part of a student’s academic and social development. Using word clouds in academic settings encourages student participation and provides a starting point for discussions.

Using interactive tools such as Mentimeter with students is a great way for students to be able to participate on equal terms. Mentimeter allows students to submit answer anonymously, providing a forum for all students to participate and express their opinion without the fear of being judged or getting the answer wrong. 

Why is it important that students participate?

Student participation in class discussions is a crucial part of understanding and reinforcing the main subject ideas. It can improve student comprehension of the class material and help them to remember key facts by articulating the course content in their own words. It also plays a part in developing communication skills and the ability to discuss and collaborate with fellow students. Hearing fellow student’s ideas on a subject can help create compelling discussions as well as a more diverse knowledge base. It can help students to think about the subject more critically when hearing others opinions as well as bringing to light different ideas that they otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.

How to encourage participation?

  • Use technology to facilitate discussions
  • Find a platform that works for both quiet and louder students
  • Create a safe environment so that no one feels judged
  • Make sure students can all participate equally 
  • Build an inclusive environment 
  • Provide an opportunity for questions 
  • Praise all student contributions

Word clouds are an easy way to encourage participation and stimulate discussions between students. Word clouds are a cluster of words or emojis that participants have submitted that create a ‘cloud’ like a visualization of everyone’s inputs on the screen. The words that have been submitted the most will appear bigger and more prominent in the word cloud. 

We’ve created some word cloud activity templates that can be used in a wide range of situations with students such as for brainstorming, as an icebreaker or to introduce a new topic.

Brainstorming sessions

Brainstorming

Brainstorming

Icebreakers

Free time wordcloud

Free time wordcloud

Introduce a new topic

Endangered Species

Endangered Species

To recap or sum up a topic 

Biology class recap

Biology class recap

Check-in on students

Student check-in

Student check-in

Get to know the students

Get to know your students

Get to know your students

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