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Questioning Techniques

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  • Open/Closed – Close-ended questions can be answered with a yes or no answer Open-ended questions require answers other than yes or no Direct – asked directly to one individual Group Oriented – asked of a group; group collaborates on the answer(s) or provides multiple answers Chorus type – asked of a group; one answer; group is prompted to reply in unison Indirect – asks a question within a question: Can you tell me the parts of an ODU? Who can tell me what the parts of an ODU are? Hand-off – turning the question toward another person for the answer: Bill asked if the azel base was part of the ODU. John, can you tell me what the parts of an ODU are?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Questioning Techniques
    • 2. Question Types
    • 3. Question Types
      • Open/Closed
      • Direct
      • Group-oriented
      • Chorus-type
      • Indirect
      • Hand-off
    • 4. Handling Answers
    • 5. Handling Answers The way a trainer handles answers may well be as important as the questions they ask. Four broad types of answers are:
    • 6. Handling Answers
      • Correct answers
      • Incorrect answers
      • Partially correct answers
      • No answer at all
      The way a trainer handles answers may well be as important as the questions they ask. Four broad types of answers are:
    • 7. Correct Answers Verbal comments or praise: “Excellent!” “Good!” “That’s correct!” Occasionally non-verbally: a nod, pat on back, wink, etc.
    • 8. Correct Answers
      • reinforces learning
      • sets the atmosphere that the trainer cares about the answers and will listen and respond
      • encourages further or continued student participation
      Verbal comments or praise: “Excellent!” “Good!” “That’s correct!” Occasionally non-verbally: a nod, pat on back, wink, etc.
    • 9. Incorrect Answers
    • 10. Incorrect Answers
      • respond to the student
      • redirect the direction of thinking
      • move toward correct response
      • be careful of setting negative feelings into action which would block communication and learning
      • accept all answers
    • 11. Incorrect Answers “ That’s good thinking, Bob, but you didn’t hit the bullseye. Who can help clarify Bob’s answer?” “ My question may have thrown you off. Let me ask it this way. . . “ Bob, I think you may confuse azimuth with tilt. I do that myself sometimes. Who can help us point out the difference?”
    • 12. Incorrect Answers Irrelevant answers: “ Let me state my question a bit differently.” “ Great answer! Too bad it isn’t appropriate for the question I asked. Perhaps I didn’t state it well.” “ You’ve getting a little ahead of my question, Bob. Great, but hold the last part until we get to it later. OK?”
    • 13. Incorrect Answers Avoid the following types of responses to incorrect answers: sarcasm - many might not understand reprimand - negative carry-over personal attack - promotes the same from students accusative - you may be wrong in your accusation no response at all - rude and negative
    • 14. Partially Correct Answers Acknowledge and give credit for the correct part of the answer: “ I agree with you on your first point; however. . .” Try to have the incorrect or weak part of the answer improved: “ Bob’s answer is about 85 percent correct. Can anyone spot his slight error?”
    • 15. No Answer at all Rephrase the question on a simpler level: “ Let me ask that question again this way. . .” If rewording doesn’t work, you might present more information. Then ask: “ Now that we understand more about what affects signal levels, who would like to try to tackle my original question about. . .?”
    • 16. Questioning Techniques
    • 17. Questioning Techniques Question then response
    • 18. Question then response
      • When you call on a student before posing the question, the class is less likely to listen to the question
    • 19. Question then response
      • Posing the question before identifying someone to respond lets students know they will be held accountable and should be prepared to answer every question
    • 20. Wait-Time
      • The amount of time that elapses between a trainer asking a question and calling upon a student to answer that question is called “wait-time.”
      • The average trainer’s wait-time is one second!
    • 21. Wait-Time
      • If you can prolong your average wait-time to five seconds or longer, the length of student responses increases.
    • 22. Wait-Time
      • When wait-time is very short, students tend to give very short answers or they are prone to say, “I don’t know.”
      • Answers often come with a question mark in the tone: “Is that what you want?”
    • 23. Wait-Time
      • If you prolong wait-time, you are more likely to get whole sentences, and confidence is higher as expressed by their tone of voice.
    • 24. Wait-Time
      • Prolonging wait-time enhances speculative thinking and the use of arguments based on evidence:
      • “ It might be a cable problem,”. . . .”but there are too many connectors and it’s been really cold lately.”
    • 25. Wait-Time
      • As you increase wait-time, the number of questions students ask and the number of checks they need to answer the questions multiply.
    • 26. Wait-Time
      • By increasing the wait-time, you buy yourself an opportunity to hear and to think.
    • 27. Wait-Time
      • Wait-time can change your expectations of what some students can do.
    • 28. Wait-Time
      • As wait-time increases, trainers begin to show much more variability in the kinds of questions they ask.
      • Students get more opportunity to respond to thought rather than straight memory questions.
    • 29. Wait-Time
      • An increase in trainer wait-time sets an atmosphere more conducive to productive questions on higher thinking levels.
      • students use the wait-time to organize more complete answers.
    • 30. Opporunity
      • Create a system that ensures that all students have equal opportunities to contribute
      • If you call on a student who is not ready to respond or does not know the answer, allow them to “pass” and then give them another opportunity later.
    • 31. Accountability
      • NEVER answer your own questions! If students know you will give them the answer after a few seconds of silence, what is their incentive?
    • 32. Accountability
      • Do NOT accept “I don’t know’ for an answer.
        • Allow additional ‘wait time’ by moving on and then come back for an answer
        • Offer hints or suggestions
        • If the student is unable or unwilling to respond, offer two or more options and let the student choose one.
    • 33. Questioning Techniques
      • Your mastery of these techniques will pay dividends with:
        • Troubleshooting skills
        • Customer communication skills
        • Team communication skills
        • Personal development

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