While virtual meetings or classes might not hold a candle to their real-world counterparts in most situations, there is one feature where they outweigh the latter. In most meetings or classes, there are many people who have questions and doubts but are too shy to ask them.

The Q&A feature that’s a virtual environment exclusive clearly makes virtual meetings a winner in this category. A dedicated Q&A feature lets participants ask questions in a written medium. And obviously, that’s a lot better than asking questions verbally for many people.

Google Meet, too, has introduced a Q&A feature to their platform for Google Workspace account users. Now, people who were shy about asking questions on camera won’t have to suffer either anxiety (when they choose to speak up) or loss of work (when they stay quiet).

Which Users have access to the Q&A feature?

Q&A in Google Meet is currently available to users with a G Suite Business, Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, or Enterprise plus account. The feature is also available to teachers and students with a G Suite Enterprise for Education license with one difference.

Where for all other users, it is automatically available, it has to be manually enabled by the meeting moderator for G Suite Education users in each meeting.

Also, only users who are attending the meeting from the Google Meet web app on their computers can use the Q&A feature. That goes for both moderators and participants. Participants might not need a Workspace account, but if they are joining the meeting from the mobile app, they can’t see nor ask questions using Q&A.

How does Q&A work in Google Meet

Fir education account users, meeting moderators, i.e., teachers, first have to enable Q&A for participants. Click the ‘Activities’ icon on the toolbar in the upper right corner of the screen. Click the Questions option. Then, turn on Q&A.

Asking Questions as the Moderator

Moderators can use the Q&A panel to ask questions to other participants and moderate the panel for other participants. Whether it’s deleting inappropriate questions, marking questions as answered or hide questions, moderators can do it all.

To ask a question, click the ‘Activities’ icon.

Then, click the Q&A option.

In the Q&A panel, click the ‘Ask a Question’ button at the bottom of the panel.

Type the question, and click the ‘Post’ button. Your questions have to be less than 300 characters.

Participants will get a notification when you post a new question. All questions in the panel show the name of the person who posted them. They can answer it either verbally or through the meeting chat, but not the Q&A panel. You can only ask questions there and not answer them.

Moderating the Q&A Panel

There are also a few options available to the moderator to manage the questions for the entire meeting. The moderator can delete or hide any questions in the meeting or mark them as answered.

The moderator can hide and delete everyone’s questions.

Click the ‘Mark as Answered’ button (checkmark icon) on the question. Marking a question as answered doesn’t hide it. It only lets the participants know that a question has been answered. It’s advisable to mark questions as answered to keep everyone updated.

Click the ‘Mark as Hidden’ button (eye icon) to hide the question from all participants. This is the solution for the questions you want to remove temporarily, as you can unhide a question after hiding it.

To permanently remove a question, click the ‘Delete question’ button. Moderators can delete any questions in the meeting, even from other participants. This will remove the question from everywhere, including your own panel. But you’ll be able to see it later in the detailed Q&A report Google Meet mails the moderator after every meeting.

Also, if there were questions that you couldn’t answer during the meeting, the detailed report ensures you’ll have a record that’ll allow you to take them up later.

Report for the meeting Q&A

There’s also an upvote button for each question. You can upvote an important question to make it more noticeable, for example, when you have the same question that another participant posted. Moderators should advise other participants to upvote the questions they find important.

To manage your view of the questions, there are a few options available to you as a moderator that are different from other participants. These help you moderate the panel more effectively. Click the ‘All Questions’ option to expand the drop-down menu.

Then, you can filter the questions to only display ‘Unanswered’, ‘Answered’, or ‘Hidden’ questions.

You can also sort the questions either chronologically or by popularity. Click the ‘Oldest first’ option to expand the drop-down menu. Then select either ‘Newest first’ or ‘Popular’ to change the order. When you select ‘Popular’, Meet sorts the questions based on the number of upvotes a question has. That way, you can stay on top of the questions that matter the most to meeting participants.

Using Q&A as a Participant

Any participant can ask a question in the meeting, even guests. Go to the Activities tab in the meeting and click the Q&A option. You can view the questions other participants have asked in this panel. Questions will either be answered verbally or in the meeting chat.

To ask a question, click the ‘Ask a question’ button at the bottom of the panel.

Then, type the question and click the ‘Post’ button.

You can also delete your question after you post it. Click the ‘Delete’ button to delete a question. You can only delete your questions and not the questions posted by other participants. But remember that even if you delete a question, the meeting moderator will be able to see it in the Q&A report.

The delete option is only available for your question when you’re a participant.

To stay on top of all questions asked in the meeting, everyone receives a notification when a new question is posted.

Participants cannot hide a question or mark it as answered. They can upvote a question by clicking the ‘upvote’ button (thumbs-up icon). Moderators can also mark questions as answered. When a question is answered, you’ll see a green check next to it.

You can also filter what questions to display on the panel, but unlike the moderator, the options are limited. You can either view all questions or only your questions. Click the ‘All options’ button to expand the drop-down menu and select a different option.

Q&A in Google Meet might be a rather simple and fairly easy to use feature. But it’s going to increase the efficiency of your meetings rather drastically. Not only is it a blessing for introverts, but it’ll also help lower any interruptions in the meeting.