Active Learning In Virtual Environment/Whats Missing

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


Active learning method where students are shown a list, diagram or picture related to course content with a piece of information purposely omitted. Students then respond by stating what they believe is missing. Instructors may consider listing steps to solve a problem, a list of characters in a story or list of sections in a research paper.[1] This learning method allows students to reflect on their previous knowledge and understanding of course content.

What's missing Illustration

Activity arrangementEdit

  • Share a word problem with the class that has some information missing.
  • Facilitate a think-pair-share activity by asking students to think about what information they have and what information they still need.[2]
  • Then, have them discuss their thoughts with a partner before sharing with the whole group.
  • Ask probing questions about what the problem is asking them to do, what information they have, and what information they still need. Note the language that students use, and paraphrase the explanations they share.
  • Read aloud the student-friendly Language Objective to the class and explain that today, they'll explore strategies they can use to find missing information in an equation.


  • Develops the attentiveness of the students for example to the slides presented in class.
  • Gives the students a chance to reflect on their learning and reflect the concepts that were discussed in class.
  • Shows the students the importance of paying attention and the importance of understanding the topic.
  • The students understand how the little things matter for example in history and how these are important to remember.

How to use this method in online class?Edit

For example in Zoom recap what was taught in the last class and ask the students to look for the missing parts that were discussed in the previous class or do not even give the students a hint that there is something missing and see if they notice. To enable conversation, giving the students a hint that there is something missing is a good way to start the practise. In Zoom present the students the modified slides that have parts missing and let the students figure out what’s missing.


  1. TopHat, ‘What’s Missing?’, n.d., received from
  2., ’Strategies to Identify What’s Missing’, n.d., received from