Effective questioning is a complex teaching task and should be planned for. Scripting out questions and evaluating them for their complexity has a significant effect on student’s ability to more deeply understand and evaluate concepts. According to Weston Kieschink, “What gets scripted gets asked”, and spontaneous questions are often low-level questions (Bold School). Additionally, supporting students in developing their own questions about concepts can lead them to deeper levels of conceptual understanding (Hattie, 1998).
Using a resource to develop and evaluate teacher and/or student questions is key in this process. Here are a few tools that we use at GWAEA:
- Grant Wood AEA’s Critical Thinking Flipbook
- Text-Dependent Questions (ELA)
- 8 Ways to Pose Better Questions in Math Class
Looking to get your students to ask more questions?
Incorporating Digital Tools
With regards to soliciting student questions and structuring student-led discussions, a few approaches and tools come to mind. Students can contribute their questions to an online board like Padlet. The ‘Shelf’ feature in Padlet can be used to model, organize, and scaffold student questions from recall to analysis/evaluative questions. This online question board may also serve as a spot for students to begin to prepare for a Socratic Seminar.
As students are engaged in discussion, Google Slides Q&A option allows students to pose questions in real-time and additionally upvote questions they find intriguing. Teachers or student moderators are able to choose and present any question to the whole class to build-up the discussion or introduce a new thought.
- Research suggests effective questioning by teachers and students has a positive effect on student achievement.
- Effective Questioning is a skill. It should be planned for using a tool to develop and evaluate rigorous questions. Students also need tools/scaffolds to develop their own questions.
- Well chosen technology can amplify teacher’s and student’s ability to pose and respond to thoughtful questions.
Digital Learning Consultants