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Question types: Open (Students add text-based responses)


Open question types such as word clouds and open ended questions allow students to enter free-text in response to a question or prompt. An AI-powered grouping tool can be activated to automatically organise responses. You can also allow students to vote on open responses making this ideal for a brainstorming or prioritising session, allowing everyone to contribute ideas and then to vote on the contributions made.

Word clouds

Word cloud slides allow students to add words or short phrases in response to a question or prompt. These are then collated with the most frequent additions shown with the largest size. This can be useful for a wide range of activities requiring short individual anonymous responses to be collated and shared for feedback and discussion. It can be used to, for example, elicit ideas, examples, suggestions, feedback and reflection. These can then be used as a start point for further discussion.

Open-ended questions

Open ended questions allow you to elicit longer anonymous responses from individuals as per the following example:

Slide with the following question:  What is the IV in this study?  Approximately 12 short answers are shown of approximately 10 words length each

It can also be used to collate ideas and examples following group work. In the following example, groups posted their response to a series of questions, identifying their table number for further discussion of noteworthy responses:

Slide with instructions: Paste in your answers - include your table number - to parts a, b, and c of the experimental design question.  Six answers of approximately 50 words each are displayed

The open response grouping tool

An AI-powered grouping tool is automatically available on any open-ended question slide with more than 10 responses. Simply press ‘space’ on the keyboard or click the button to activate it


Depending on response numbers and complexity, there may be a ‘sorting the circles from the squares’ delay while the grouping takes place.


You will then see a set of groups under headings generated by the tool.


You can use the scroll wheel on the mouse or press the tab key to navigate through the groups (this may require multiple tab presses given the large number of presentation control buttons on Mentimeter slides). Click on a group or press enter on a selected group to open it to view the individual responses that have been added to the group. You can return to the list of groups by selecting the link at the top.


If you would like to move a specific item from one group to another, select the menu to the right of an item. You can either choose from the existing groups or create a new group to move it to.


You can also press ‘space’ again to hide the groups and return to the original view showing all the ungrouped responses. If you plan to allow participants to vote on responses (see below) you will need to do this before the voting starts.

Further details on the grouping tool can be found on Mentimeter’s Group responses to your Open Ended questions using AI page.

UoY feedback

After the introduction of the tool, a group of teaching staff provided feedback by activating it on previously-collected responses on open response slides. These had been used in large lectures to gather ideas on the subject matter, and in workshops to seed discussion and gather group responses to short answer practice questions in preparation for exams. In most cases, feedback suggested that the tool is accurate and helpful, and respondents recommended it as a useful addition to open-ended question slides making it easier to give feedback and discuss responses in live sessions, especially where there are larger numbers of responses and the subject matters is relatively general rather than very specialised.

You can read about the feedback and see examples of what you might expect when using the tool from the following link.

Introducing the AI open response grouping tool in Mentimeter

It is worth noting that, even where the groupings were largely accurate, there were ‘outliers and oddities’ with some responses being grouped in seemingly arbitrary or incorrect ways. As with other uses of Generative AI, it could be useful to think of the grouping tool as a useful start point for live analysis of student responses, rather than expecting that it will organise the groupings as you would have done so yourself.

Voting on open responses

You can switch on voting on open text responses, making this ideal for a brainstorming or prioritising session, allowing everyone to contribute ideas and then to vote on the contributions made.

To switch on voting, you just need to create an “Open Ended” question slide and add your question as normal in the question field under the ‘Content’ options. Then select the ‘Enable voting on responses’ option and add the required number of votes to allocate to each participant under ‘Votes per participant’.


When you share your presentation with students during a session and present the question slide, participants can provide open responses as normal and these can be displayed either immediately as they come in, or hidden until a time of your choosing (Shortcut key ‘H’ to hide and show responses).


When you are satisfied with the number of open responses received, you can press ‘enter’ to begin the voting. Until this point participants who have submitted their responses will see a message telling them that the presentation is not yet open for votes.


After opening the voting, the message ‘voting in progress will appear on the screen and students will see a list of all open responses. When they select an option, it will be marked with a tick (they can select the option again to de-select). A message at the bottom of the screen tells them how many votes they have left and, once they have made their selections, they can press the ‘Submit votes’ button.


Once you have received the number of votes you are expecting, you can press enter again to show the voting results. The results will be shown on the screen and also on the devices used by participants ordered by the number of votes from most to least.



By default, Mentimeter is completely anonymous. For strategies to reduce the likelihood of any misuse of anonymous word cloud or open-ended questions, and to limit the impact of any inappropriate or offensive responses, please see the following page: Using open text responses safely and dealing with inappropriate or offensive posts.