Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blog Post #5: Asking Questions

children in a classroom raising their hands to answer a question from the teacher

Asking the right questions is an essential element to being an effective teacher. The right kinds of questions, asked in the right way and with the proper timing encourage different thought processes leading the students to a better understanding of the material they are to learn. How do we ask the right question? Let's start with things that we should not do. After we finish a lecture we should not ask the students if they understand. Either only a few will answer or the majority of them are going to answer yes just because it is what they think yiu want to hear. Getting a yes answer to this question does not get a teacher off the hook of responsibility by assuming that the students know the material just because they say that they understand. If we must ask a yes/no question then it should be followed up by a "why" question. We should not ask the questions at the end of a lecture. It is better to present open ended thought provoking questions at the beginning or early part of a lecture encourages deeper thought throughout the lecture. Don't be predictable in your method of questioning. Vary the way you call on students to answer questions and always pause after asking the question to give the entire room a chance to come up with an asnswer of their own before you pick someone. One method some teachers use is to ask the question then wait until everyone in the room signals that they know the right answer before choosing someone. Another thing to avoid is leading questions. Leading questions give up too much information trying to direct a student to and answer. When asking questions a teacher should always listen attentatively to a students answers so they know they are important. A teacher should also provide feedback as to what parts of the question was right or wrong. 

1 comment:

  1. " After we finish a lecture …" Should we even lecture in a PBL classroom?

    "... they think yiu want to hear." Typo: you

    "We should not ask the questions at the end of a lecture." Why not? Can't they be asked at first, in the middle, and at the end? But then why lecture?

    It is often helpful to ask everyone the same question. Google Docs makes that possible as well as Padlet. Check it out.