“It’s really been a game-changer for us, death by PowerPoint is very real in a live online environment. It is great if you can change that up with something like Mentimeter.”
Based in Madison Wisconsin, Madison College has campuses located across 12 school districts and offers more than 180 programs for students. The college has a clear objective of making higher education available to all. This aligns with how Madison College makes it possible for all campus members to have access to use Mentimeter Enterprise for inclusive learning purposes.
We had the chance to talk to Kathryn Grovergrys (Professor & Consultant) and Kathy Jochman (Instructor) about their usage of Mentimeter within The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Madison College. As part of their work, they are showing people on campus how to use Mentimeter, as well in general helping staff within online teaching and instructional support. Kathryn noticed the increased importance of online learning tools during the pandemic: “Once the pandemic hit and all things focused on online, it became a big need for everybody to pitch in and help.” Kathryn elaborates: “There have been so many struggles and hard things, how to do new things during the pandemic. Menti has been a light in the darkness. We can bring in our students in a live Zoom environment.”
Kathryn has been using Mentimeter for several years and she started her journey with a free account before she even started working at the college. After the college officially started giving out Enterprise licenses she has been using Menti all the time.
Kathy has been using Mentimeter since the college acquired the Enterprise campus-wide solution. She mentioned how she enjoys using it as a full presentation tool: “I haven’t started a meeting with PowerPoint in a long time since I started using Mentimeter, when you can initially engage your audience with some fast-paced questions and use it to transition throughout the presentation, to me there is nothing better.”
Kathryn talked about even the small things that can make a difference with added interaction: “I love the reactions on the content slides, that’s a way to keep straight content slides a bit more interactive, for example ‘if you like this give a heart’.” Continuing about Menti slides, she added: “Content slides with Menti have more white space and are easier for the eyes, that is huge!”
Kathy pointed out the creative possibilities when using these tools: “I’m so not an artist and I cannot draw, but with Menti I can use images in the background and choose how to position them. I’m a strong believer in information being taken in through multi-channels, it also makes for a stronger learning situation. So I like the ability to manipulate images, even small things like a leaderboard with different looks. To be engaging visually like this is totally different compared to PowerPoint. I especially enjoy customizing slides now as well with the more advanced features, it is great fun and I can lose myself for hours.”
Being super-users both Kathryn and Kathy mentioned how the audience enjoy the presentations when they are using Mentimeter. Kathryn on the audience reactions: “They love it honestly, every time I present them with Mentimeter I always get a follow-up email from someone ‘can you show me how to use Mentimeter?’.” Kathy mentioned how it builds great interest from the start. When it comes to different use cases at the college there has been mostly in the classroom but also in college forums and other meetings. Kathryn: “For example the president of the college often uses Mentimeter in those large gatherings, it is easier to engage with a big group. It has been used in campus meetings and definitely in training, basically in lots of different gatherings and faculty meetings.”
According to Kathryn and Kathy, it is great for students to use a slide to illustrate and express themselves not only in words. It really makes learning more powerful when presenting a specific assignment. Both concluded a lot of faculty members use Menti in a live environment for learning purposes. Kathryn herself also enjoys using Mentimeter for asynchronous instructions. For example, using it as a checklist for students to make sure they followed each module in a course. This works as a great supplement for students to learn on their own schedule too (for example answering a multiple choice on audience pace).
Kathryn and Kathy emphasized that the best way for educators wanting to learn is to take part in the audience of a Mentimeter presentation, then you get a chance to see what it looks like and observe it. In their roles at the campus, it is crucial for them to lead by example. Both of them offer educators to meet at school, for them to learn more about Mentimeter as well as to go through the process together. Kathryn: “It is about the interaction that Menti can provide, PowerPoint doesn’t have that interaction. If you can do a content slide and smoothly transition into an interactive slide and then smoothly back again to a content slide and maybe even have different types of questions in there. There is just no better way for them to experience it as a participant, they realize ‘wow I can have an interactive presentation’.”
Kathryn gave a concrete example of someone at the college who had a presentation with over 100 PowerPoint slides and felt overwhelmed: “I showed him how to import the slides to Menti. Then he could insert interactive elements and rework some of the slides, making them really accessible. Especially if you don’t have time you don’t need to change everything.”
Kathryn also explained how obvious and enjoyable it is to see people’s faces when realizing there is no need to create PowerPoint animations any longer, how easy it is to use Menti and to keep it fun and engaging. “I can create a Menti presentation in half the time it would take me to do a PowerPoint, the user learning curve is higher with Mentimeter.”
It makes us so happy when our super users discover new features quickly. Both Kathryn and Kathy were fast to explore and use the recently launched collaboration feature, to make it easier for multiple colleagues with an Enterprise license to collaborate when creating engaging presentations. Kathryn on the new collaboration feature: “The collaboration feature is a game-changer! It showed up like a little bubble somewhere on my screen when I showed Menti to a faculty member. I was like OMG there is collaboration now, this is new we have to check it out.”
Kathy reflected on the same new feature: “And now that you have expanded it so we can plan a presentation with other colleagues. I’m blown away by how sweet that is, to be able to jointly construct something together. And when you do that you both know the presentation too, you are there 100%, that is a phenomenal feature.” Kathy also expressed gratitude for how the Menti product keeps developing in general: “What admired me the most is you are constantly coming up with new slides, surveys and the ability to co-present with people. NO rest on your wonderful product, you keep developing new aspects and it is so appreciated.”
At Mentimeter we are so thrilled and proud to have Enterprise clients like Madison College with the campus-wide access, we are blown away by their enthusiasm and amazing use cases. We hope you feel inspired too by the super users Kathryn and Kathy from sharing their stories.
Hopefully, this will be a great example for educators at other learning institutions when engaging and providing further interaction with students and staff members wherever they are located. Our ambition is to help educators to create an inclusive environment with meaningful engagement, by giving every student a voice.
To find out how Mentimeter Enterprise can help your University, get the guide.