Among the many benefits of online education, the flexibility to access coursework 24/7 from anywhere and at any time, along with the freedom for students to study at their own convenience tops the list. In fact, these variables have contributed to the drastic growth of online learning in the era of Zoom, and advocates are continuously looking to improve upon these as well as other facets of the experience. However, there is a small hiccup. A growing body of evidence indicates that the biggest barrier to achieving equivalent success rates in online learning has been the challenge of cultivating the sort of collaboration, engagement, and discussion that are often the hallmark of great teaching and learning environments.
While instructors who have implemented online discussion before know that the term ‘online discussion’ is far from one-size-fits-all, thoughtful instructional design and intentional use of technology can help make the most of such discussions to improve student outcomes. However, achieving meaningful results in an online discussion is not an easy feat for many instructors, particularly during a time of uncertainty. “This is where our platform takes center stage. Ment.io, our namesake, AI-led discussion platform serves as a transparent and inclusive discussion board, fostering credible collaborative thinking, thereby promoting deeper learning and equal opportunities in education, in and out of the classroom,” highlights Joab Rosenberg, founder and CEO, Ment.io.
Contrary to regular discussion boards, which rarely promote a genuine exchange of ideas, Ment.io pushes discussions into a better, healthier engagement among students while facilitating the exchange of more profound arguments and counter-arguments on the learning topic. Its AI-based algorithms help encourage the critical skills of students as well as their emotional learning process. In other words, the simple-to-use platform adds depth to learning, giving every student an equal chance to excel. Furthermore, Ment.io guarantees every voice is heard in a crowded discussion, and students can easily participate and have their voice stand out.
Empowered by 25 years of experience in analytics and data science, Rosenberg built the Ment.io discussion platform to foster innovation at the heart of learning. “Our software also enables educators to assess performance with accuracy—and save time—while encouraging students to improve their dialectical skills and rediscover the excitement of active learning,” he adds. “Using the platform is so easy that even children as young as six can manage it effortlessly.”
Supporting Ment.io’s effectiveness is its simple user interface—which is structured based on the principles of what a good discussion is—and the ability of its patented algorithm to follow a discussion and analyze it into different aspects of a conversation at the backend. The traditional solutions available in the current marketplace only assess the participation level of students. Ment.io, on the other hand, puts into force several algorithms that look further than that. It starts by considering simpler aspects such as how widely a student collaborates with their friends and then goes further into deeper facets like a student’s cognitive and emotional behavior. This includes assessing the collaborative level, clarity, thoroughness, believability, and balance to ensure learners are at the top of their game.
Using the platform is so easy that even children as young as six can manage it effortlessly
“For example, one of the factors Ment.io takes into consideration is what we call a ‘thought distance metric.’ Our platform looks into correlations and applies AI algorithms to identify people who are similar to an individual in the way they present themselves in the course of the discussion and people who are farther away. We also perform adaptive learning and advise students based on prescriptive analytics on where they should interject their contributions to a discussion,” explains Rosenberg. Furthermore, the platform also looks into peer review.
Another notable feature of Ment. io is the fact that it is asynchronous. Typically, in a classroom setting or in a Zoom meeting, students are expected to jump up with an answer. However, there is not enough time for all the students to participate. “On our platform, we have a KPI, which is the average session time. It is about 10 times longer than other platforms because students take the time to think and answer. This promotes a much healthier interaction between the students themselves and the teacher,” says Rosenberg.
Ment.io also provides an interconnected global community, Global Classroom Connect, where students get the chance to exchange ideas with peers and sharpen their collaboration and discussion skills. It serves as an excellent way for students to meet and mix with colleagues, discuss the latest topics, share ideas, and take their experiences back to the classroom. What’s more? There is no issue with the time differences between different continents because each student can participate at their own convenience. Therefore, a student in Singapore can now interact with students in the U.S. or Europe and learn about the cultural differences without having to travel or schedule a meeting at 2 A.M. They get to have an international experience, without the need to travel or coordinate a challenging time schedule. In short, taking things a notch higher, Ment. io’s Global Classroom Connect forum paves the way for students to learn in an international cross-cultural setting.
Over the last six years, several universities and educational institutions have benefitted from using the Ment.io platform to lead discussions that are easily digestible while remaining engaging and meaningful. Recalling a client testimony from a professor at the Munich Business School, Rosenberg cites, “Ment.io contributed to increasing their level of engagement and saved the professor time by giving him an automatic AI-based assessment of his students. We not only helped facilitate a deeper and more engaged discussion but were also able to summarize it to point to out the most interesting aspects of the discussion.”
With a vast array of such success stories, Ment.io is poised to expand its platform’s services to high schools and the corporate training arena. In corporate setups, Ment.io can assist HR and training departments in assessing participants better. Established in 2015, the company continues to witness exponential growth driven by their innovativeness. “Despite the pandemic, we grew 500 percent year on year and strive to continue on this path going forward,” concludes Rosenberg.