While teaching remotely, it can be helpful to suggest students ask questions in the Zoom Chat as they come up. Then the instructor can pause and answer them periodically. Alternatively, by enabling group chat between students, they can often answer the questions of their peers.
The Zoom Chat is not always the best option, though. It can become cumbersome in a large class, especially without a teaching assistant. As students get more comfortable with chat, it can turn into a deluge of information. Students who do not feel comfortable asking their question in chat might also hesitate to ask. Additionally there is no way for students to indicate they have the same question unless group chat is enabled.
A tool like Sli.do can help organize and rank questions, thus making questions more manageable and effective.
How does sli.do work?
Sli.do is an audience polling tool that allows users to ask questions, see questions others are asking, and vote for questions they like. It helps students and teachers know which questions are the most common amongst students.
Students may ask questions anonymously or using their name. No account is required to ask questions.
Why use sli.do for questions instead of the Zoom Chat?
The benefit of a tool like sli.do is that students can begin asking and ranking questions prior to class, and the questions persist afterwards. They can also upvote / like questions that resonate with them, allowing the most pertinent questions to rise to the top.
This affords teachers and teacher’s assistants the opportunity to prepare for questions ahead of time as well as continue answering questions after class.
Many students feel more empowered to ask questions when they are able to ask anonymously. Seeing their peers ask questions also empowers them to ask their own.
When would one NOT want to use a tool like sli.do?
Sli.do should not be used as a replacement for Zoom Chat. For quick questions and technical help, Zoom Chat is better. Think of sli.do instead as a bucket to collect questions during a lecture or discussion. Then during periodic breaks the teacher can check the question bucket and generate discussion or check that students are comprehending the material.
Sli.do is not officially supported by UVA and is not integrated with the Collab LMS. Therefore anybody using it needs to feel comfortable using a new tool on their own.
How to get started?
Fortunately sli.do is very easy to use. Visit https://www.sli.do/education to get started. The free plan is sufficient for most needs.
Please let us know if you would like any more information about sli.do or have any other questions by requesting a consultation.