Questioning for Learning What are your questions for?
Q? Purpose Revisit an important everyday teaching behaviour Examine what questions are used for now Students’ ways of knowing Question categories and effects on student engagement and learning Mindful about questions the questions you use and the effects on student engagement and learning
What do you use questions for? To find out what students know To clarify what students mean (or think) To stretch students beyond their present understanding To prompt them to think deeper, further… To encourage them to justify what they think
What can questions do for learners? Generate new understandings from existing knowledge Improve critical thinking Improve problem solving Become aware of learning needs Arouse curiosity
Bloom’s Taxonomy Three domains of learning • Cognitive (knowledge and intellectual skills) • Psychomotor (physical skills) • Affective (feelings and attitudes)
Question types • Closed Questions • requiring a single correct answer (Lake, 2005) • Diagnostic • What do you know? • Open Questions • requiring the learner to combine pieces of information and formulate an answer (Lake, 2005) • Exploratory • How do you know (it)?
Bloom’s simplified Recall and understand information Application of recalled knowledge in a new context Problem analysis and creating solutions What kind of questions elicit thinking at the different levels?
Questions at different levels • Memory Recall: • What is normal blood pressure for a healthy 80-year-old male?” • define-identify-list-name • Comprehension: • How would you differentiate between an urticarial and vasculitic rash?” • Compare/contrast- explain- give an example of… • Application (apply knowledge to new problem – extrapolation) • Would it be appropriate to prescribe an anti depressant in this lady’s case? • calculate-decide- predict-solve
Questions at different levels • Analysis (looking at parts of the problem) • “What are the benefits and risks of prescribing a diuretic for a patient with her condition?” • analyse-distinguish-does the evidence support-summarize-select • Synthesis (learner has to assemble a solution/answer) • Develop a treatment plan for this patient . . ..” • create-compose-construct-design-develop-plan-propose • Evaluation (make judgements) • How do you think the patient has responded to….? • appraise-assess-critique-evaluate-judge-support
Questions x purpose • Checking knowledge (does the student know/understand?) • Describe how a diuretic drug works to reduce blood pressure • Clarifying (helps the student to organise his/her thinking) • What kind of exercise were you thinking about when you said . . .?”
Questions x purpose • Extension(Stretch the students beyond their answer) • You are correct, but what if this patient had diabetes?” • Prompting(supporting the student who gives a weak answer) • How might her Phx of gastrojejunostomy influence treatment success?” • Justification (does student really understand therapeutic rationale, pathophysiology etc?) • What are the features in the patient’s medical history that led you to your conclusion?”
Do no harm! • Ensure safe environment • Start with closed questions to check prior knowledge and move on to open questions to stimulate higher order thinking • If you have time plan some questions that stimulate thinking at higher levels • Stick to lower level questions if embarrassment likely • Save higher order and more speculative questions for debriefing and reflection in a safe environment
Student engagement Wait 10 seconds for an answer Pick respondents at random Follow up wrong answer with a lower level or exploratory question Avoid giving cues to the answer in your questions Avoid situations in which students have to guess what’s in your head
So…….. • Be mindful of the question strategies that you use • Use them to: • Diagnose knowledge and understanding • Challenge prior knowledge and assumptions • Probe thinking • Justify responses • Extend from specific to alternative / general • Elaborate i.e.create new links and relationships • Support the student’s construction of knowledge • Create an environment where students feel safe to perform their knowledge!