Q&A as a teaching tool

Do you want to expand the possibilities for interactivity and communication in your lectures in a simple way that also works for large groups?

As a teacher at KI, you have access to Zoom and Mentimeter.

An AI generated image of students who are participating in a Q&A session
Photo: Midjourney.

Q&A is a way of offering interaction in teaching that is functional even with large groups of students. The idea is to create interactivity in a simple way.

With the tools that Karolinska Institutet has, namely Mentimeter, Zoom and Padlet, there are several different interaction models:

  1. The teacher asks a question, and then the students can answer it.
  • This approach can, for example, work well as a way to activate the students at the beginning of a lecture by connecting the day's content to what the students have already learned.
  • It can also be used to draw attention to important content to examine values.
  • Offer a formative way to test their knowledge.

2. Conversely, students can ask questions and concerns about the content during the lecture.

  • In that case, the method can be used to clarify the content and to clear up misunderstandings quickly.

Q&A in a digital format offers a few interesting qualities in themselves that are very worth pointing out:

  • With digital Q&A, all students can answer the question.
  • Anonymity can be offered to students who can influence which students answer and what kind of answers they get.
  • If the Q&A is not anonymous, the responses can be used to identify which students need input from the teacher to achieve the learning outcomes.

The systems that KI offers have different functions and utility qualities.

Q&A in Zoom

Zoom Q&A is a relatively hidden feature within Zoom that needs to be enabled. The function is based on the fact that students can submit questions or answers to the teacher, which can then be answered in writing, orally, or deleted. The system offers several advantages that could be of particular interest to teachers who work with larger groups.

  1. The Q&A system can easily be managed by several people. An extra person can delete duplicates on posts and even answered questions in real time.
  2. You can allow anonymous questions and answers from the students. This can encourage students to ask questions that they don't feel completely safe asking otherwise.
  3. The system has two different visibility settings that you can make as a teacher:
    • The students' posts are shown directly to the other students (note: not recommended in combination with anonymity). Then there is the opportunity to turn on an additional function where students can prioritize other people's issues that they consider to be particularly interesting.
    • The alternative is to only show the students' posts when they have been marked as answered.

Zoom chat

You've probably used Zoom's meeting chat before. The quality of use, which is both the best and sometimes the hardest, is that previous posts disappear from the window very quickly. It can simply be difficult to handle with larger groups, and then Q&A may be preferable.

Unlike Zoom Q&A, there is no way to be anonymous within the meeting chat.


Mentimeter is an anonymous service at heart. What's particularly great about Mentimeter is that:

  • It can be used just as well in a room as it is remotely.
  • It offers multiple interaction formats (it works as Q&A, quizzes, chat, and even presentation tools).
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