Active Learning In Virtual Environment/Reciprocal Questioning

Activity: #in-class/short-term, #group-work, #needs-preparation


In reciprocal questioning technique students take the role of the teacher. Students are given some materials to read and afterwards, they should come up with a list of questions. The teacher then answers students’ questions. This task benefits students’ comprehension of a subject. Firstly, students have to deeply analyze the reading selection in order to produce “teacher” questions. Secondly, as the teacher answers the questions, it reinforces the learning process[1]. It should be noted that this strategy does not fit all subject areas. For example, Math is a subject that requires exact answers rather than interpretation. Therefore, this technique should be used in reviewing reading and writing assignments.[2]

Reciprocal Questioning Illustration

Activity arrangementEdit

  • divide class into small groups and give them a section to read
  • explain the task to them: students should read the sections and write down questions for the teacher
  • set an exact time to complete the task
  • let groups collect all the questions and present a list of final questions
  • the spokesperson of the groups asks questions to the teacher
  • the teacher answers the questions
  • ask students to recognize the strategies they used in writing the questions[3]

Note that this activity can be assigned as an individual task as well.


  • improves questioning, reasoning and reading comprehension skills
  • encourages thinking skills
  • learning in stress-free environment
  • students learn to use meta-cognition[4]

How to use this method in online class?Edit

To use this activity as a group assignment, students can be divided into Zoom breakout rooms or Google Meet breakout rooms. Then, students can use a shared Google document to list their questions. In the main session, students present their questions to the teacher.


  1. Reading Educator, ‘Reciprocal Questioning”, n.d., received from
  2. TAP Facilitator Resource Center, ‘Reciprocal Questioning”, n.d., received from
  3. Ibid, note 1
  4. Ibid, note 2