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Suggestions for Effective Questioning Techniques

The following questioning techniques should be used to create a learner-centered environment. They promote learning by encouraging critical thinking skills and increasing student participation.

1. Ask Thought Provoking Questions
Promote higher order, critical thinking skills and get the students to question their own views. Ask different types of questions to get students to demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension as well as their ability to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate material.

2. Build in Sufficient Wait Time
Wait 10 to 12 seconds before calling on a student by name to answer. If the students still don’t understand the question, perhaps it needs to be rephrased.

3. Pose a Question / Call on Students by Name
Make learning personal by calling on different students in every class. This also encourages student to come to class prepared and ready to contribute.

4. Redirect Student Questions
Redirecting student questions is beneficial because it shows students they can be sources of information for one another, it encourages positive dialogue in the classroom, it increases student participation, and allows the instructor to formulate a synthesized response.

5. Paraphrase Student Questions
An instructor can increase participation by paraphrasing questions. The question can also be raised to a higher order status, which increases the interest level for all students, especially the one who originally asked the question.

6. Understand Why Students Repeat the Same Questions
Remember that understanding may not always occur at the time of delivery. It is not until the new material has been digested and has become meaningful that students can ask questions.

7. Script-out Key Questions
Key points you want to cover in your demonstration, discussion, lecture or workshop should be thought about in advance. How can you elicit these points from the students? Key questions should be planned and well thought out before going to class.

8. Invite More Than One Response to a Question
Call on several students to get varying ideas and opinions before offering your own.

9. Answer Student Questions with Another Question
Encourage students to think for themselves and to demonstrate their understanding of new material.

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