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Questioning is a powerful way to communicate with your learners. Here's how to use questioning in the online classroom:

Encourage participation

Use questions often throughout your session. Vary the response mechanisms you use – you can make good use of polls, chat and the whiteboard. If it's practical give participants use of the microphone sometimes.


Always try to use learners’ names when responding to them. This increases the community spirit in the online classroom. 

Confirmation questioning

In a traditional classroom, teachers often rely on physical cues to determine understanding and ask questions. In the online classroom we have to ask learners directly. 

Directed questioning

Give learners notice (and time to think) before you ask a specific individual to respond. Respect your learners and don't embarrass them. Judge if this is an appropriate strategy once you have got to know your group a little.

Be prepared

Add questions to your slides or use a text file so you can cut and paste them into chat quickly and easily.

Be calm

Don't be afraid of silence after you have asked a question! Give them thinking time. If no one responds to a question, ask it again, tell them how to respond and then wait quietly and patiently. If after a whole minute you haven't heard or seen the response, calmly move on.

Questioning Techniques