Evaluation Toolkit Case Study (Tool 3 – Mentimeter)
With thanks to Priscila Doran for contributing this example, with input from Joana Latas and Rosa Doran
Who we are
NUCLIO is a non-profit organization and an NGO for development composed of professional scientists, researchers and teachers that focus on science outreach and teacher training in the framework of science education, and education development and innovation. NUCLIO is an official training centre recognized by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and is the coordinator of the Galileo Teacher Training Program, a training program that was born in 2009 and has already reached 50 000 teachers in over 100 nations worldwide.
One of the main goals of NUCLIO is to provide teachers with the tools to reach their students in a deep and meaningful way, promoting engagement and the need to learn. In the fast digitally developing 21st century, we consider that integrating digital technologies in everyday teaching is of tremendous importance. As such, instead of just presenting these tools to teachers, we focus on using them in the course of our training sessions in order to show their potential and help teachers to be comfortable in using them. In this example we focus on one of these tools: Mentimeter.
During a teacher training session within the framework of the project PLATON (http://platon-project.eu) the trainer used Mentimeter in the form of a pre-test / post-test regarding the teachers’ perceptions of different components of Inquiry-Based Learning in their daily practice.
What we did
When preparing the session, the trainer accessed https://www.mentimeter.com to write the questions to be presented to the teachers. At the beginning of the training session, the trainer asked the teachers to use their mobile phones to connect to https://www.menti.com and access the session questions using a specific code generated by Mentimeter (Figure 1).
Once each teacher entered the appropriate code the questions appeared one by one on their screens along with the answer options. Mentimeter provides a wide variety of answer options, including open response, scale, multiple choice, etc. In this training, each teacher was asked to use a scale to evaluate from 1 to 6 the extent to which extent they already used each of the components of Inquiry in their daily teaching practice (Figure 2). The answers were presented immediately in the trainer’s screen, in an anonymous way.
After this pre-session quiz the trainer introduced each Inquiry component in depth to the teachers. By the end of the session, the same process was repeated using Mentimeter, and teachers again evaluated their use of each of the components, now understanding their meaning more in depth (post-test) (Figure 3).
Finally, at the end of the session, teachers were asked to access the platform one last time and describe the training session in 1 word (Figure 4). Here again, Mentimeter provided a variety of ways to present these words: list, grid, one by one, word cloud, etc. In this training the trainer chose to present a word cloud where the most common words appear in the centre in a bigger size than the others (see the word cloud analysis technique for more information on this technique generally, though it is calculated automatically within the Mentimeter software).
What we found out
In this session, the use of Mentimeter presented valuable results (Figures 2 and 3) as it showed the trainer that most teachers felt they already used Inquiry practices in their daily teaching, and that some components were more widely used than others. This was an important starting point in identifying which components of Inquiry the trainer should focus on in more depth than the others for that particular training session. In a wider context, compiling the results from multiple sessions will provide valuable information of how teachers interact with each Inquiry component in their practice, allowing for the adaptation of the training program as a whole. Also, comparison between figures 2 and 3 demonstrates that the answers change from the pre-test to the post-test. This allowed the trainer to understand that Inquiry was not a clear methodology to some teachers and that dividing it in different components and training teachers deeply in each of them was a very valuable way of promoting teacher’s knowledge, confidence and motivation in implementing Inquiry as a whole in their practice.
The word cloud results allowed the trainers to understand that the participating teachers saw the PLATON training session as mainly interdisciplinary, innovative and interesting, but also motivating and challenging.
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