Digital Whiteboards for Teaching and Learning

Whiteboarding is a well-established active learning practice used in many classrooms. Students and instructors can use in-classroom whiteboards to brainstorm, create connections between ideas, draw representations, and more. Digital, online whiteboards provide additional features that can enhance active learning in face-to-face courses and online courses. A digital whiteboard can provide opportunities for collaboration between students and for student-to-instructor and student-to-content interactions.

  • Workshop Recording
  • Digital Whiteboards for Teaching & Learning Workshop Registration (COMING SOON)

Getting Started

There are many different digital tools available for online whiteboarding. To get started, determine your learning or instructional goals and then choose a tool. What will you want students to do and learn?

At NC State, there is one digital whiteboarding tool that is part of our enterprise suite of instructional tools:

  • Zoom Whiteboard & Shared Screen Annotation (available within Zoom meetings): If you are a former user of Jamboard, the Zoom Whiteboard has many similar features and includes extensive templates.

We also recommend Miro as an option for whiteboarding activities. Miro is approved for use at NC State but is not part of our supported enterprise digital tools.

Digital Whiteboarding Ideas

Brainstormstudents add sticky notes, text boxes, icons, images, lines or arrows to show connections, and more.
Give Feedbackinstructors add notes and/or comments to student’s work, either in the moment or after students submit work. Using icons and sticky notes can make this feedback process quick and efficient.
Organize group workStudents plan projects, share ideas with each other, and more
Give FeedbackInstructors add notes and/or comments to student’s work, either in the moment or after students submit work. Using icons and sticky notes can make this feedback process quick and efficient.
Build communityStudents respond to emotional well-being check-in prompts, create or annotate “getting-to-know-you” frames, and more to build a comfort level and sense of community with classmates and instructors.
Share Results/PostersUse a series of digital whiteboards as a gallery walk for students (and/or instructors) to share their work
Image Example Sources:
Zoom: Bullseye, Miro: Meeting Rating, Zoom: Project Plan ,Miroverse: Emotion Wheel, Miroverse: Picture Cards

Accessibility Note Warning!

Just like in-class whiteboards, doing an activity on a whiteboard exclusively means it will not be accessible to students using screenreaders. Find out more about accessibility and digital whiteboarding in this article.

Tutorials and Guides



All articles/resources below take you to Miro support.

Activities & Examples

Here are some ideas for utilizing concept maps:

  • Charts
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Flowcharts
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Timelines
  • T-Charts

Concept Mapping

Concept maps are visual representations of information, serving as versatile tools ranging from graphic organizers to flow charts. Particularly beneficial for students with a visual learning preference, they excel in elucidating complex topics by illustrating connections between ideas.

Collaborative group work with concept maps is highly effective, allowing participants to collectively construct maps centered around a specific topic. This collaborative effort unveils shared thoughts and branches, fostering deeper understanding.

Miro Gallery Walk example using a collaborative digital whiteboard with templates for each group, directions, and a filled-in example.

Group Work Gallery

Students can share work they’ve created during a class activity or outside of class to a series of frames or areas on a whiteboard. They can include the work actually embedded via screenshot or uploaded image OR link to the work.

Look for templates in Miro and Zoom!

Student creators can post their own peer review questions on sticky notes, asking for feedback on what they think is important. Peers can then do a gallery “walk” during class time or outside of class and use whiteboard features to give feedback.

Instructors could also provide guiding questions for peer feedback in the digital whiteboard gallery.

If the work is created in class, instructors can circulate physically in the room and online via the whiteboard digitally to give in-the-moment feedback to students.

Image Annotation

Although digital whiteboards may not be the foremost tool for image annotation, they offer a swift and straightforward method to foster student collaboration around visual content.

Utilizing the comment feature, students can annotate images, with their names automatically recorded within the comment. Moreover, students can engage in dialogue by replying to existing comments left by their peers.

Blank map of North Carolina’s river basins were students have left small blue comment boxes to label the various river basins in the state.

Websites and Articles with Whiteboarding & Active Learning Teaching Ideas


Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2009). Active learning: An introduction. ASQ higher education brief2(4), 1-5.

Fuchs, Kevin, Preparing Students for Success in a Changing World: The Role of Virtual Whiteboards in the Modern Classroom (March 4, 2021). Education Quarterly Reviews, Vol.4 No.1 (2021), Available at SSRN:

Inouye, C. Y., Bae, C. L., & Hayes, K. N. (2017). Using whiteboards to support college students’ learning of complex physiological concepts. Advances in physiology education.

Schroeder, R. (2008). Active Learning with Interactive Whiteboards: A Literature Review and a Case Study for College Freshmen. Communications in Information Literacy, 1 (2), 64-73.

Concept maps. Learning Center. (2022b, July 11).