Engaging Students Who Don't Otherwise Participate Much

Asking a whiteboard question to the whole class allows all students to answer the question and do important thinking. If the instructor calls upon a single student to answer a question, the rest of the students may feel “off the hook” or they may be worried they will be called upon next. If the instructor takes student volunteers in answering a question, then frequently half the students will never volunteer.

For instructors who wish to establish raport with students who may feel disenfranchised, small whiteboard questions provide an opportunity for positive interaction. If the instructor asks the whole class a whiteboard question, and sees several right answers (in the case of questions with one right answer) or several interesting representation of something, they can intentionally select the boards from students who don't otherwise participate much. Holding up the board of a student and using it as a positive example can help build connections.

Whiteboard question for almost any purpose can also fill this role in addition to their primary role. See examples

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