Interactive Activities

Synchronous sessions can be made far more engaging and exciting for students when using interactive activities.


The polling feature for meetings needs to be enabled in your Zoom Account Settings. You can check this by logging into your account on Zoom’s website and checking under “My Meeting Settings” if “Polling” is enabled or not.

Once this is done, stay in your account and follow these directions from Zoom’s Help Center to learn how to create a poll, launch a poll, and download a report of a poll’s results.

Screen Sharing

It is easy to learn how to share your screen in Zoom. While someone is sharing their screen, participants are allowed to annotate on it. Some of the options include:

  • Text: Type text on the shared screen.
  • Draw: Draw with a pen or another tool.
  • Arrow: Add an arrow with your name on the shared screen.
  • Eraser: Erase any annotations you have done.
  • Clear: Clear your own annotations.

These annotations do not disappear until they are erased or cleared. They are also not saved if sharing is stopped.

Interactive Whiteboard

The whiteboard in Zoom allows for a blank space in which all participants are able to annotate on. This can be particularly useful if you want students to brainstorm in breakout rooms. The whiteboard does not save automatically, so if there is anything on it you want to save, be sure to do so by selecting “Save” in the annotation tools.

Synchronous Collaboration in Google

Google apps can be a great way to get students engaged synchronously during synchronous sessions. Think collaborative note taking, brainstorming in breakout rooms, joint student presentations. Dr Sarah Twomey describes an activity in which her students use Google Slides to link their asynchronous discussion in Laulima to their synchronous discussion in Blackboard Collaborate.

Ideas for Interactive Formative Assessment

This article lists ways you can use to “check in” with students and their learning progress.