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CIRTL:  The gentle art of questioning
 

CIRTL: The gentle art of questioning

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Questioning is a central part of student assessment and quizzing, but it can also be a powerful learning tool. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore research-based tips and ideas for ...

Questioning is a central part of student assessment and quizzing, but it can also be a powerful learning tool. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore research-based tips and ideas for achieving the full benefit of questioning. Effective use of common questioning tools -- clickers and discussion boards -- will be discussed as a means to achieve student engagement and deep learning.

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  • HAVE PEOPLE SIT BY DISCIPLINE
  • How do you feel about asking students questions in class?How many times have you given a lecture and found that students hadn’t followed you?Can you rely on students to ask questions if they don’t understand something?Can you rely on students to know if they don’t understand something?So, what are the benefits of questioning?Why do you think people don’t question more?
  • During each section, ask people for examples of questions that they wrote that fall into this category. Give clicker booklet for responding.Point out the handout where each one is detailed more.
  • Model each one of these. What are some ways to ask questions? One is to ask rhetorically.Class, what’s another way to ask a question? Target the whole class.John, what’s another way? Target someone else.Are there other ways to ask a question? Let’s think about it. Target class: verbally, clickers, other waysTarget someone in particular: randomly, in seating order, call on particular personWait and then…. Call on volunteers, call on someone who hasn’t volunteered, answer own question
  • Everything but synthesis
  • Questions threaten studentsI get no volunteers to answerStudents don’t talk to each otherAnswers take me off trackTakes too much time
  • What comes first? Learning goals.
  • Instructor circulates, may need to show that you’re serious
  • Usually one second. Trained to wait 3-5 seconds. Students tend to speak in bursts with 3-5 seconds between bursts: Wait time of 1 second interrupts these bursts.
  • Students take writing for each other, and the web, more seriously than writing for instructorDon’t make it into busywork, then it’s a pretend audience and not motivating.Gardner Campbell (Virginia Tech) school of blogging: http://is.gd/ACRo7j.
  • Shop for ideas
  • Weigh advantages of covering more material against checking comprehension and actively involving students. It’s challenging. How a teacher does this determines how well it works. NO RESPONSE: Wait longer. Rephrase the question. Give a hint. Have students discuss. Call on someone. Leave unanswered. SAME PEOPLE: Someone other than X. Ask an easier question and call on new volunteer. Be alert to non-verbal cues. Make it clear that participation required. IF ANSWERS CALLED OUT: Ask it others agree. Ask for other answers. Ask students to think for a minute. Turn away to signal time for thought. Ask to write answers down. IF TAKE TOO LONG: Interrupt and summarize. Set boundaries and expectations. WRONG ANSWER: Break down question so others can see error. Ask for comments. Ask for other answers. Find merit in answer and explain why common mistake.

CIRTL:  The gentle art of questioning CIRTL: The gentle art of questioning Presentation Transcript

  • The Gentle Art of Questioning
    Clickers and other tech tools for student engagement
    Dr. Stephanie V. Chasteen
    Physics Department
    &
    Science Education Initiative
    Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
    http://colorado.edu/sei
    Web and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.com
    Email: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
  • Who are you?
    STEM faculty
    Administrator
    Faculty professional development staff
    Education researcher
    Graduate student or post-doc
    Other
    Show of hands
  • How many years have you been teaching?
    3
    I haven’t taught yet
    1-5 years
    6-10 years
    Longer than I can remember
    I don’t teach anymore
    Colored cards
    Move into groups?
  • Have you used response systems (clickers) in your teaching?
    Take a clicker & turn it on
    If the green light flashes, your
    vote has been counted
    Not at all
    I’ve seen them used but not yet used them
    I’ve used them a little
    I’ve used them a lot
    I could be (should be?) giving this workshop
  • Introducing Me
    5
    Science Education Initiative
    http://colorado.edu/SEI
    Applying scientific principles to improve science education – What are students learning, and which instructional approaches improve learning?
    Physics Education Research Group
    http://PER.colorado.edu
    One of largest PER groups in nation, studying technology, attitudes, classroom practice, & institutional change.
    Blogger
    http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com
  • Why question?
    How many times have you given a lecture and found that students hadn’t followed you?
    Can you rely on students to ask questions if they don’t understand something?
    Can you rely on students to know if they don’t understand something?
    What are the benefits of questioning?
    Notes #1
    6
    whiteboard
    Credit: Rosie Piller
  • The toughest thing about asking questions in class is…
    Writing good questions
    Getting students to really think about them
    Getting students to answer the questions / Nobody responds
    The same students always respond / Not everybody responds
    It takes too long / I have a lot of content to cover
  • Agenda
    When and how we can ask questions
    About clickers as a way to ask questions
    Challenges and best practices in using clickers, discussion boards, and in-class questioning
    Writing good questions
    Action plan
    9
    Learning goals: Participants will be able to….
    Explain several benefits of questioning and of using clickers to question
    Defend the use of best practices in questioning to overcome common challenges
    Formulate an action plan for questioning that is suitable to their teaching context
  • Warm-up exercise: Questions in your content
    What questions could you ask to help students achieve your assigned learning goal -- to test mastery and stimulate learning?
    Brainstorm as a group
    10
    5 minutes
    whiteboard
  • WHEN to ask? Questioning Cycle
    11
    BEFORE
    Setting up instruction
    Motivate
    Check knowledge/comprehension
    Discover
    Application
    Predict-and-show
    Analysis
    Provoke thinking
    DURING
    Developing knowledge
    Assess prior knowledge
    “Big picture”
    Evaluation
    Demonstrate success
    Synthesis
    Review / Recap
    Elicit misconception
    Exit poll
    AFTER
    Assessing learning
    Exercise skill
    Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  • Some methods of asking questions
    12
    Ask rhetorically
    Target the class (how?)
    Target someone in particular (in what order?)
    Wait and then… (call on whom?)
    Answer your own question
    Leave the question unanswered
    Or ask out of class
    Blogs
    Discussion boards
    Homework…
    Notes #2
    My favorite:
    • Target entire class
    • Wait
    • Vote with clickers
    • Call on volunteers
    • Encourage responses
    Credit: Rosie Piller
  • Why use clickers to target the class? An outline of Peer Instruction.
    13
  • 14
    But not a magic bullet!
    Clickers are a tool for questioning
  • 15
    Notes #3
    Ask Question
    (Maybe vote)
    …Lecture…
    Peer Discussion
    Class Discussion
    Vote
    * See also: Peer Instruction, A User’s Manual. E. Mazur.
    Anatomy of Peer Instruction
  • How is a clicker question the same or different?*
    16
    * From other types of in-class questions
    Similar in terms of goals
    Multiple choice
    Anonymous (to peers)
    Every student has a voice – the loud ones and the shy ones
    Forced wait time
    You can withhold the answer until everyone has had time to think (choose when to show the histogram)
    Notes #4
    What does this tool help us to do?
  • Which of these could be clicker questions?
    BEFORE
    Setting up instruction
    Motivate
    Check knowledge/comprehension
    Discover
    Application
    Predict-and-show
    Analysis
    Provoke thinking
    DURING
    Developing knowledge
    Assess prior knowledge
    “Big picture”
    Evaluation
    Demonstrate success
    Synthesis
    Review / Recap
    Elicit misconception
    Exit poll
    AFTER
    Assessing learning
    Exercise skill
    Credit: Rosie Piller and Ian Beatty.
  • U. Colorado clicker resources…
    18
    Videos of effective use of clickers
    2-5 mins long
    http://STEMvideos.colorado.edu
    Clicker resource page
    http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu
    • Instructor’s Guide
    • Question banks
    • Workshops
    • Literature / Articles
  • Let’s try it
    19
    Which superpower would you
    rather have? The ability to…
    Change the mass of things
    Change the charge of things
    Change the magnetization of things
    Change the boiling point of things
    19
    Question: Ian Beatty, UNC Greensboro Image: Thibaultfr on Wikimedia
  • 20
    Example question: Math
    Your sister in law calls to say that she’s having twins. Which of the following is the most likely? (Assume she’s having fraternal, not identical, twins)
    Twin boys
    Twin girls
    One girl and one boy
    All are equally likely
    Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt
  • Example question: Survey
    If you were walking down a road and passed a piece of trash, would you pick it up?
    Yes
    No
    It depends
    vaguely recollected from a question described by Kate Dollard, Northampton HS
  • What could possibly go wrong?
    You ask students a question, and ask them to discuss.
    You then ask them to share their answers and reasoning in a whole-class discussion
    What could possibly go wrong? 
    22
    Exercise #1
    7 mins
    In groups of 3-5 brainstorm some of the challenges you imagine, or outstanding questions.
    Organize into challenges regarding (1) writing/asking questions, (2) peer discussion, (3) explaining the answer and (4) other.
    What is a possible solution?
  • 23
    23
    1. Ask Question
    Notes #5
    What are some challenges/ things to consider when posing a clicker question?
    • Ask several times during lecture
    • Ask challenging, meaningful questions
    • Don’t post until ready
    • Give time to read (read silently)
    • Don’t read question out loud
    Handout/worksheet / whiteboard
  • 2. Peer Discussion
    24
    Notes #6
    • Students learn more deeply by
    teaching each other
    • Makes them articulate answer
    • Lets you see inside their heads
    Why is peer discussion important?
    What are challenges /
    how can you help make it work?
    • Make it clear why you’re doing this
    • Circulate and ask questions / model
    • Use questions they want to discuss
    • Allow enough time (2-5 mins)
  • 3. Wrap-Up Discussion
    25
    Notes #7
    Challenges?
    What might you do to facilitate an effective wrap-up discussion?
    • Establish culture of respect
    • Consider whether to show the
    histogram immediately
    • Ask multiple students to defend their
    answers
    • Why are wrong answers wrong and
    why right answer is right
  • Effects of increased wait time
    26
    Changes in student behavior:
    More students respond
    More students respond without being asked (unsolicited)
    Student responses are longer
    More alternative explanations are offered
    Student confidence increases
    There are more speculative responses
    Students ask more questions
    Other changes (on teacher!)
    Quantity of questions decreased
    Quality of questions increased
    Expectations of slower students were revised
    Teacher reactions to answers were more appropriate
    All from a few more seconds!
    Rowe, Mary Budd (1974)
  • 27
    Giving the answer stops student thinking!
  • Discussion boards / blogs
    The motivation question: How do you encourage students to participate? How do you create an authentic audience? How do you make this an integrated and motivating part of the course?
    Make expectations for participation clear
    Provide incentive (intrinsic better than extrinsic) for reading and writing
    Post interesting questions
    Notes #8
    Search Derek Bruff’s blog for “Randy Bass” and/or “social pedagogies”
  • We’re going to practice writing questions now
    Remember those questions from the warm-up?
    In groups of 3-4, choose one (quickly) that you will write a multiple choice version of
    1 minute
  • Gallery Walk
    Read briefly over the “tips for writing clicker questions” handout. Which is going to be most challenging for you?
    As a table, look at the “example questions” trio that I have given you. What’s a common theme(s)? Write the themes down on the sheet.
    Notes #9
    When you’re done, circulate to see the themes of questions on other tables.
    Shop for ideas for your own questions!
    5 minutes
  • Exercise #2: Multiple choice questions
    31
    In groups of ~3, pick a question from the Warm Up exercise, and write a multiple choice version of it.
    If you have time, write another question from another part of the questioning cycle!
    7 minutes
  • Action Plan
    Take a few minutes to write down your action plan to implement ideas you heard about in the workshop
    32
  • References & Resources
    http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu
    (will have handouts)
    Web and blog: http://sciencegeekgirl.com
    Email: stephanie.chasteen@colorado.edu
    Clicker Resource Page from the Science Education Initiative: http://STEMclickers.colorado.edu. Has clicker question banks (in the sciences), an instructors’ guide, and videos of classroom use. Useful books (such as Eric Mazur’s Peer Instruction are cited there.
    Workshop handouts will be uploaded to the above website.
    Many materials in this workshop (particularly the questioning cycle and the participant exercises) were adapted fromRosie Piller, Making Students Think: The Art of Questioning. Short papers published in: Computer Training & Support Conference, 1995; ISPI International Conferences, 1991 and 1996; ASTD National Conference on Technical & Skills Training, 1990. Related workshop description at http://www.educationexperts.net/nstworkshop.html
    Other materials (particularly sample clicker questions and goals of clicker questions) adapted from Ian Beatty’s Technology Enhanced Formative Assessment (TEFA) program. http://ianbeatty.com/crs
    Cited research:
    Rowe, Mary Budd. “Wait-time and rewards as instructional variables… ” Journal of Research on Science Teaching, vol. 11 (2), pp. 81-94, 1974.
    Thanks!
  • Learning Goals
    Biology: Recognize the components of a cell and describe why each is necessary for the function of a cell
    Physics: Identify the different ways that light can interact with an object (i.e., transmitted, absorbed, reflected).
    Chemistry: Explain trends in boiling points in terms of intermolecular interactions
    Earth science: Understand the formation of the three major types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and the processes by which they form, relating them by the rock cycle.
    Math: Solve a system of linear equations in two variables using algebra or graphing.
  • What Do I do if…?
    What can you do if you ask questions and..
    There is no response
    The same people keep raising their hands
    The answers are called out before everyone has a chance to think
    The answers take too long
    Someone gives a wrong answer
    Only some students are prepared
    ?
    35
    We’ll discuss in Workshop #2.
    For now: Many of these challenges are addressed by clickers