How Students Use Whiteboards and Its Effects on Group Work

Michael MacRie-Shuck, Vicente Talanquer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Various strategies have been promoted to increase student engagement in collaborative activities in chemistry courses, including the use of small portable whiteboards where students can represent and share ideas. In this paper, we summarize the results of a study designed to investigate how the use of small portable whiteboards during group work affects student engagement. In particular, we paid attention to how the use of whiteboards affected social processing, knowledge dynamics, and student contributions during in-class tasks in a college general chemistry class. Our findings reveal significant differences in student engagement during activities in which whiteboards are used compared to those in which these tools are not used. Although the use of whiteboards correlated with more instances of knowledge construction, overall effects are mixed, as the use of whiteboards more frequently led groups to split in pairs in the observed class. Our results suggest that the use of whiteboards should be carefully planned and managed by instructors to maximize benefits and reduce potential hindrances to collaborative work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3723-3730
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 2021


  • Chemical Education Research
  • Collaborative/Cooperative Learning
  • Constructivism
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Hands-On Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


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