Slido: Our Favorite Tool for Online Engagement
If Zoom fatigue is lowering enthusiasm for you and your students, here are some tips on using one simple tool – Slido – to inject energy into your online classes and increase online engagement.
Encourage Anonymous Questions
Slido is best known for helping instructors solicit questions from students and providing a mechanism for students to prioritize their most important questions.
A lesser-known element of Slido is that it allows your students to ask questions anonymously, and…
Anonymous questions increase interaction.
For example, if your high school health classes were anything like mine, the most interesting questions came when students anonymously wrote questions on pieces of paper and put them in a box to be answered by the teacher at the end of the week. Those questions started such provocative discussions I remember several of them today…decades later.
When you enable students to ask questions anonymously in your class, several interesting things happen:
- Introverts participate. If you have a few vocal students asking questions and little participation from others, anonymous questions lower student anxiety, which makes it easier for everyone to participate.
- You learn what students are thinking about. Anonymity provides cover for students to ask questions they may be too afraid to ask but are curious about.
- Discussions start. Anonymity means you can invite students to pose “challenging” questions. If you encourage your students to question what they’re learning, why it’s important, or why they should have to do the work you’re assigning, you spark discussions about how entrepreneurship is relevant, which can often be the key to increasing engagement.
One great way to take advantage of this technique is to start each class session off by inviting students to post anonymous questions about the last lesson you did, their last homework assignment, or anything else on their minds. If you do this at the beginning of every lesson, students know there’s always a safe place for them to ask questions, and you’ll see more of them crop up throughout your term.
In addition to soliciting questions, Slido also solicits brainstormed ideas from students.
One interesting way to use this technique is to have students post their takeaways from a lesson or exercise.
When you ask students to write down what they’ve learned from an exercise, the process of writing their takeaway helps cement their learning. Plus, when you ask other students to upvote other students’ takeaways, they get to see a summary of all the topics you covered during the lesson, you also get to see which were most salient (and what topics you may need to reinforce in another class).
Plus, it’s a fun interactive way to end a lesson. Speaking of fun interactions, Slido is also great for creating…
As we wrote in the Gamify your Lectures post, Slido is also great for replacing boring slides, with interactive games.
Be sure to read our full write-up for details on easy ways to make presenting information more fun for students.
See it All in Action
Enter your email address below to see exactly how we use Slido with these techniques to teach our TeachingEntrepreneurship.org Online Virtual Conference attendees:
If you want to inject a little energy into your class, we’ve found one simple tool – Slido – that enables you to:
- Solicit anonymous, prioritized questions from your students
- Brainstorm ideas with students, including their takeaways
- Engage students with fun, interactive competition
Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!