Finding flow: Unpacking the capacity of in-lecture question activities to engage online students

Nathan G. Miles, Kerri Hicks, Kim Nelson, Michael A. Cahill, Christopher J. Scott, George K. John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintaining student engagement in online and recorded lectures is a challenging aspect of higher education. In light of this, active learning through in-lecture question activities was investigated using a pre-teaching focus group (n = 12) and student evaluations (n = 43) after an in-class trial. Data analysis was underpinned by flow theory, which can explain student engagement and immersion with content and activities. The key findings included: (1) students’ preference for familiar technology platforms; (2) students desired more engagement in their lectures both internally and online; and (3) in-lecture questions had to be matched with quality content to ensure the highest chance of flow and student engagement. Thematic analysis suggested engagement may have been related to key aspects of flow such as immediate feedback, and matching challenges to skill levels. Overall, learning designers and educational technologists should be used to ensure in-lecture question activity introductions work within current institutional platforms and pedagogies such as active learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-190
Number of pages20
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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