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Areas of use of Online Whiteboards (OCWP)

The flexibility of OCWPs allows you to use them in many learning activities beyond conventional whiteboard use. An OWCP can support brainstorming, co-creation, interactive presentations and can also be used with the Flipped Classroom model. Here we describe these scenarios and their possible challenges in realizing your educational idea.

The abbreviation OCWP

OCWP means Online Collaborative Whiteboard Platforms.

Conventional whiteboard use

Conventional whiteboard use refers to an OCWP that is used solely as a physical whiteboard. A typical example is that the teacher uses the blackboard while the students only observe what is written or drawn on it. The interaction is limited and controlled by the teacher.

Possible challenges:

Brainstorming, idea creation and reflection

OCWPs are well suited for collecting and discussing thoughts and ideas in various forms. For example, a teacher can use the whiteboard to collect what the students thought went well and less well during the lesson. Students can also use an OCWP on their own to, for example, brainstorm different proposals for projects in the course.

Possible challenges:

  • How will you facilitate conversations between the students?
  • How do you take your conclusions further and how do you communicate any measures or decisions?

Co-creation and group work

When students have to work collaboratively, it is often difficult to find a fitting time and place to meet, but the work becomes flexible if they use an OCWP. An OCWP also helps students who can meet and work synchronously because the material is saved online and thus always available. You as a teacher can also create activities where both you and the students create material at the same time.

Many OCWPs are designed for project work and other types of collaboration and therefore have tools developed to support these activities. For example, there are often templates with different kinds of flowcharts, a comment function, polls and much more.

Possible challenges:

  • What expectations will you set?
  • How will you explain the activity?
  • How will you handle groups and group work in the chosen OCWP?

Read more about Collaborative Learning (  and Examples of activities for collaborative learning or group work ( .

Presentation with interaction possibilities

The teacher presents and allows the students to interact with the material, for example by reacting with emojis or commenting on the material. For the greatest effect, the students should be able to influence the lesson with their interaction. For example, the teacher can use the comments as a basis for discussions or focus on the material that the students react to with confused emojis.

Possible challenges:

  • How should students productively interact with the material and how do you encourage them to do so?
  • How can you use student comments to promote discussion?

Flipped classroom

The Flipped Classroom method moves the parts where the student is passive outside the classroom so that the students can be active in their learning during class time. With an OCWP, students can both access course material and interact with it before the lesson. For example, students can comment on material from a previous lesson, vote up interesting questions from other students or create their own material. The teacher automatically gets access to all of this and can review it during class time, or distribute it to students for discussion or joint work.

Possible challenges:

  • How will you deliver the content to the students?
  • How will you assess student understanding?

Read more about Flipped Classroom .