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Special Topics in Online Teaching

A W&M Libraries-STLI collaboration

“How the Socratic method translates online: Law School professor makes a case for Zoom” by Kim Wright, The Harvard Gazette, March 24, 2020

Harvard Law School Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen began teaching virtually for the first time in March, 2020. She worked quickly to move her class of 115 students in “Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment” online. The new format utilizes the Socratic Method in Zoom.


“Socratic Method and Online Teaching” by Doug Ward, Associate Professor, University of Kansas, December 27, 2012

A concise, step by step guide to utilizing the Socratic Method in a variety of online environments.


“How using Slack Can Improve Socratic Seminars” by Justin Taylor and Zach Seagle, EdSurge, May 21, 2018

The authors of this article were looking for a digital tool to better engage their tech favoring students. They landed on Slack, an online messaging app used primarily in businesses. The tool was a powerful platform for stimulating high-level online discourse centered around key concepts and core habits of discussion.


“Socratic Flipped Classroom: What Types of Questions and Tasks Promote Learning?” by A. Avdic, U. A. Wissa, M. Hatakka, Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning, 2016

This paper describes a project aimed at finding out how different kinds of questions and tasks support students' learning in a flipped classroom context. In this study, during the flipped courses, both the questions and tasks were distributed together with video recordings.


“Using reflections and questioning to engage and challenge online graduate learners in education.” by Yuliang Liu, Research & Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 2019.

The author employed the asynchronous online discussion on the discussion board in Blackboard for learners to complete course assignments. This method included discipline-specific questioning, creating a community where learners replied to the instructor's and learners' questions through modelling and facilitation, and promoting the instructor's thinking-encouraging approach.