Response Tools for the Language Classroom

This is a practical webinar for registered participants only.


The workshop is scheduled for 22 March 2021 at 13:00 Central European Time. Full program >>

The workshop will be open only to the registered participants of the DC4LT webinar series. The number of participants is limited. Registration >>

The workshop is scheduled for 05 October 2021 at 11:00 Central European Summer Time.

NEW TIME: 08 October 2021 at 09:00 Central European Summer Time

Full program >>

Join here: New Zoom link will be published soon

The workshop will be open only to the registered participants of the DC4LT webinar series. The number of participants is limited. Registration >>


Tord Mjøsund Talmo

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway



In this workshop, the participants will learn how to utilize the methodology of question-based learning in face-to-face or online modes or teaching in order to create effective classroom dialogue. We use one tool that enhances the question-based learning approaches to maximize the effects of this pedagogical approach. The main objective of the workshop will be to investigate different types of questioning and discuss the benefits of each type.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn how to utilize technology in the class
  • To learn how to download, install and use a response tool
  • To gain insight into different question types to trigger responses and learning in the student group
  • To be confident in retrieving answers and using them for new tasks in a question-based lecture
  • To reflect on the advantages of question-based learning
  • To understand why universal methodology for using response tools in a class is a viable approach for language learning


Zoom at the webinar

iLike response tool

Recommended reading

It is recommended that you read at least one of the articles published by Even Einum (2019) in his doctoral thesis “Response Technology and Student-centring of Language Education” (PDF).

For this workshop, we would recommend “Discursive lecturing: an agile and student-centred teaching approach with response technology.” Journal of Educational Change, 20(2), pp. 249–281. DOI: 10.1007/s10833-019-09341-7

Theoretical Background

One of the most used methodologies for face-to-face learning (f2f) is question-based learning, a prolonging of inquiry-based learning. This methodology relies heavily on the teacher’s ability to ask good questions, and even more important being able to utilize the students’ answers in order to create more meaning in the classroom setting. Thus the technique is at the heart of all classroom teaching, and is essential in order to create classroom dialogue.

Educational technology can enhance the students’ experiences of question-based learning in several ways, and it can also aid the teacher in their ways of treating the different answers and opinions students express. There are some obvious advantages with Ed.Tech that needs to be pointed out: 

  1. Anonymity, which can help the less verbal students to utter their voice
  2. Familiarity; technology is something the students know how to use, often at the same level as the teacher, giving them a sense of equality
  3. Motivation, because the students can see that their answers are being taken seriously and used, which in turn will increase
  4. Engagement, both in their own answers and in discussing and participating in all aspects of the teaching.

In-class learning can utilize Ed.Tech in different ways, and there are several tools that enhance the question-based-learning approaches. We would like to emphasize response tools to maximize the effects of this pedagogical approach. When choosing your response tool, it is important for language teachers to find a tool with a good word cloud functionality, that is easy to use, has a nice look in big classrooms, and should include the opportunity of some manipulation and/or easy to use further results. Depending on the teachers’ use, one must choose either on-the-fly tools or prepared cases.

Question-based learning is doable also online but requires some consideration. The most difficult thing to obtain online is the interaction between peers and also between students and teachers. Seeing this is the essence of all question-based learning, one needs to plan for discussion to happen. If one does not have a clear goal, solid cases, and questions that create engagement and motivation, it will often turn into a one-to-one session, instead of many-to-one. Some students will be reluctant to utter their meaning also online, but you do have some opportunities to involve them that you do not always have f2f. Allowing students to answer partially written, partially orally is a good way to drive the lesson through question-based learning. Thus, you should look for tools and systems with these functions. Another obstacle in-class that can be mended online is the size of the discussion groups. Using tools that include break-out-rooms is recommended.


Beatty, I. D., Leonard, W. J., Gerace, W. J., & Dufresne, R. J. (2006b). Question driven instruction: Teaching science (well) with an audience response system. In Audience response systems in higher education: Applications and cases, pp. 96–115. IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-947-2.ch007

Heaslip G., Donovan, P. & Cullen, J. G. (2014). Student response systems and learner engagement in large classes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(1), pp. 11-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2017.01.006

Nielsen, K. J. (2014). How the Initial Thinking Period Affects Student Argumentation During Peer Instruction: Students’ Experiences Versus Observations. Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.915300

Pedaste, M., Mäeots, M., Siiman, L.A., deJong, T., van Riesen, S.A.N., Kamp, E.T., Manoli, C.C., Zacharia, Z.C. & Tsourlidakid, E. (2015). Phases of inquiry-based learning: Definitions and the inquiry cycle. Educational Research Review, Volume 14, February 2015, Pages 47-61. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.003

Thorseth, Trond Morten; Mellingsæter, Magnus (2015). Response technology used to build self-regulated learners. Proceedings from Inted2015. URL: