What is BackChanneling?

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BackChanneling is the practice of using computers to maintain live-time or near live-time conversations alongside live events. The term was coined in the field of Linguistics to describe listeners’ behaviors during verbal communication, Victor Yngve 1970. In the classroom, a “backchannel” provides teachers valuable feedback and helps to better engage students. There are a wide variety of BackChanneling tools that can be used in the classroom. Here are a few options for you.

Today’s Meet – Create a simple room and allow students to backchannel questions and thoughts in live time.


Google Slides Q & A – A new feature in Google Slides (Google’s Free version of PowerPoint) allows teachers to get and rank questions from participants in live time.


Socrative – Socrative is a cloud-based student response system that allows teachers to create simple quizzes that students can take quickly on laptops – or, more often, via classroom tablet computers or their own smartphones.


Plickers – is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.

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