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Questioning Skills in Microteaching


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Questioning Skills in Microteaching

  1. 1. Mudasiru Olalere Yusuf (PhD) Department of Educational Technology, University of Ilorin E-mail:;; Facebook: Twittter: @moyusuf Blog:!/my-blogs/
  2. 2. Questioning Lesson Map Introduction Types of Questions Conclusion Questioning Apple Mnemonics Effective Questioning Blosser and other Classifications
  3. 3. Quotation I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who Rudyard Kipling 1902
  4. 4. Questioning: What?      A question is defined as any sentence which has an interrogative form or function. They are instructional cues or stimuli that convey to students the content elements to be learned and directions on what they are to do and how they are to do it (Cotton, nd.). The ability to ask and answer questions is central to learning. The use of questioning skills in a systematic manner is important for interactive investigation in any subject. Classroom questions should be evaluated and analyzed since questioning is an important teacher behavior (Belland, Belland, & Price, 1971).
  5. 5. Purpose of Questions  To increase students’ participation in their teaching-learning interaction.  To encourage students to think at higher cognitive level.  To motivate students to search for new information.  To arouse the students’ interest and their curiosity in the topic of instruction.  To develop the students’ active way of thinking and learning.
  6. 6. Purpose of Questions (2)  To guide students in the process of finding a good and correct answer.  To help students concentrate on the topic under discussion.  To serve as a guide to students’ learning and demonstration of learning (examination).  To emphasize key points.  To ascertain students’ knowledge level in a bid to modify instruction.
  7. 7. Types of Questions Research on the questions teachers ask shows that about 60 percent require only recall of facts, 20 percent require students to think, and 20 percent are procedural (Gall, Dunning, & Weathersby, 1971). Generally there are always two categories:  Factual/ Higher Cognitive,  Closed/ Open,  Convergent/ Divergent,  Low Order/ High Order, and  Low Inquiry/ High Inquiry.
  8. 8. Types of Questions (20 Questions are usually classified in several ways. Popular classification include the use of Bloom Taxonomy for Questions. The modified Bloom Taxonomy of 2001 is also relevant. Another popular questioning type is the Blosser (2000) categorization into four types: Managerial, Rhetorical, Closed, and Open.
  9. 9. Original Bloom Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives
  10. 10. Original and Modified Bloom Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives
  11. 11. Types of Questions Based on Bloom Taxonomy
  12. 12. Blosser (2000) Managerial Blosser (2000) categorized questions into four: Managerial, Rhetorical, Closed, or Open Managerial: These are questions which keep the classroom operations moving ,i.e., to move activities (and students) toward the desired goals for the lesson. Examples include: “Are you all here with your mathematical set and four-figure table”, “Will you turn to page 12 of your textbook”, “Who needs further assistance on how to draw the graph” etc.
  13. 13. Rhetorical Questions They are questions used to emphasize a point or to reinforce an idea or statement. E.g. “The green coloring matter in plants is called chlorophyll, right?”, “Last week we noted that there are three arms of government: executive, legislature, and the judiciary, okay?” Rhetorical questions do not really require students answers, however, students sometimes respond to them. Common examples of words are: “Who knows?” “Are you stupid?” “Did you hear me?” “Ok?” “Why not?”
  14. 14. Closed Questions Questions to check retention or to focus thinking on a particular point. They have limited number of acceptable responses or “right answers.” E.g.: “What is the chemical formula for water?” “Nigeria got her independence from the colonial masters in what year?”, “If you add N5 to N15 what is the total sum?” Also to: classify or pick out similarities and differences, apply previously learned information to a new problem, make a judgment using defined standards. Common words include do…, did…, can…, is…, are…, have…, will…, would…, how…
  15. 15. Open Questions They are used to promote discussion or student interaction and anticipate wide range of acceptable responses rather than one or two “right answers.” Draw on students’ past experiences and cause them to give and justify their opinions, infer or identify implications, formulate hypotheses, and make judgments based on their own values and standards. Words used are how…., who…, what…, when…, where…, describe…, explain…, in what way…, could you tell us about…., how did you apply your training to your work?
  16. 16. Other Questions Other question types include: focusing, broadening, probing, hypothetical, leading/prompting, multiple, evaluative, justifying, etc. o Focusing Questions: They are used to focus students’ attention on the day’s topic or lesson. “How many of you have visited a market to buy products?” To start an economics lesson on demand and supply. o Hypothetical Questions: These are questions that set up a possible situation or problem and ask the students for a possible course of action. Example, “supposing there was no amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, how would the individual nationalities fare today?”
  17. 17. Other Questions (2) o Probing Questions: They are used to get under the surface of an initial answer. Having got the students talking the teacher can use probing questions to bring out more detail. While the same questions are asked of students, the use of probing questions will vary according to the student’s response. Examples of words used are how, who, what, when, why, where, describe, exp lain, in what way o Alternative Questions: They are questions used to help students make a decision. Example: Between men and women who are the best managers or least corrupt?
  18. 18. Other Questions (3) o Broadening Questions: These are questions used to introduce additional facts and to encourage analysis. Examples are questions talking of differences or relationships. o Evaluative Questions: They are questions that deal with matters of judgment, values, or choice. Two sides of the argument should be presented for quality evaluative question. Example, “What do you think are the advantages of solar power over coalfired electric plants? How would you feel if…..? o Justifying Questions: These are questions used to challenge the old ideas or develop new ideas, no right or wrong answer. E.g. “Why should men pay dowry when they complement with women to raise a new family”
  19. 19. Other Questions (4) o Leading/Prompting Questions: These are questions that suggest the expected answer. They are used to guide students thinking and should be used sparingly for moral or ethical issues, because answer implies acceptance. E.g. “Will you desist from stealing?”, “Of course, you would want to investigate further wouldn’t you?” o Multiple Questions: They questions with two or more distinct parts, each requiring an answer. “What do you think of the attempted declaration of the Republic of Biafra? Do you support it or not, why, and what other issues would you see as being relevant to this specific case?”
  20. 20. Effective Questioning Techniques       Be clear and economical in the phrasing of question. No double or multiple barrelled questions. Purpose should be clear in relation to the topic. Tangential issue should not be focused. Pose the question first, before asking a student to respond. Allow plenty of “think time” by waiting at least 7-10 seconds before expecting students to respond. Make sure you give all students the opportunity to respond rather than relying on volunteers. Hold students accountable by expecting, requiring and facilitating their participation and contributions.
  21. 21. Effective Questioning Techniques (2)         Establish a safe atmosphere for risk taking by guiding students in the process of learning from their mistakes. Encourage variety in the type and difficulty levels of questions. Encourage students to ask questions at any time. Use redirection option by redirecting a student’s question to other students Give adequate consideration to all questions-never evade a question. Scatter questions over the entire class. Adapt questions to the level of the students Use pre-planned and emerging questions.
  22. 22. Effective Questioning Techniques (3)       Avoid tricky questions and those that require Yes or No response Respond to answer questions asked by the students as it can serve as reinforcement for learning. Learn to carefully listen to students’ questions and answers. Do not be ashamed of acknowledging difficulties in answering students’ questions to avoid giving wrong answers. Use questions for follow up study. Use “APPLE” mnemonics (Professor I. M. IVE%20QUESTIONING1.ppt)
  23. 23. Yes, My favorite way to remember how to use questions effectively. Source: marter, I. M. (nd.)
  24. 24. • Ask the Question: Questions should be prepared in your lesson plan in advance. • Pause: Let the learners think about what you are asking. Give the learners 3-5 seconds in order to respond.
  25. 25. • Pick: Pick on a learner by name to answer the question. Do not always pick on the first learner that raised his hand. You may also pick on someone that hasn't raised his hand in order to force participation.
  26. 26. • Listen: Listen to the answer, make eye contact with the learner, provide effect words* when the answer is provided. Mix your effect words, nothing sounds more phony than an instructor that always says "very good" whenever a learner answers a question. *Praise and/or encouragement words
  27. 27. • Expound and Explain the learner's answer. Generate a dialog based on the learner's response. If the learner's response was incorrect, redirect the question back to the other learners. "That's an interesting response, but not the one I was looking for, can anyone else provide a different answer?"
  28. 28. Quotations “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” Voltaire (1694 - 1778) “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” James Thurber (1894 - 1961)
  29. 29. 30
  30. 30. References Belland, J. C., Belland, A., & Price, T. J. (1971). Analyzing teacher questions: A comparative evaluation of two observation systems. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association, New York, NY. Blosser,. P. E. (1975). How to ask the right questions. Washington, DC: National Science. Teachers Association Churches, A. (2008) Bloom's taxonomy blooms digitally. Retrieved from y.html Cotton, K. (nd.). Classroom questioning. North West Regional Educational Laboratory. Draper, S. (2013). Taxonomies of learning aims and objectives: Bloom, neoBloom, and criticisms. Retrieved from Smarter, I. M. (nd.) Effective questioning. Retrieved from IONING1.ppt Writing Instructional Goals and Objectives. Retrieved from _print.html Maynard J. (nd.). Bloom's taxonomy's model questions and key words. Retrieved from