Using digital canvas to facilitate student questioning in large lecture classes: a mixed-methods study

Lili Zhang, Jiaming Cheng, Jing Lei, Qiu Wang, Fuyi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A lack of student questioning is faced by many universities, where a large lecture is a common practice. Emerging technologies bring about possibilities to fill this gap. This study followed constructivist learning theory and used a digital canvas as a Digital Question Board (DQB) for students to freely pose questions and respond using mobile technology. A mixed-methods study with a quasi-experiment was conducted to investigate its effect. The study was conducted in two sections of an introductory research methodology course in a large comprehensive university in eastern China (n = 253). The pre–post quasi-experiment lasted six weeks. The data from surveys, observation, and online posts (log data) revealed that when the instructor discussed student questions after every 20–30 min in large lecture classes, students with DQB access had a significantly higher frequency of questioning than those without a DQB. The presence of the DQB enriched the types of questions and responses and encouraged mostly on-task learning questions. With technology, students employed a non-linear, constructivist questioning process and actively contributed to the co-construction of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5383-5394
Number of pages12
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023


  • Digital canvas
  • large lecture class
  • student questioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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