Question Types for Teaching
Questions where students are expected to recall facts, concepts or methods relevant to the learning intention. Frequently used to see if students have done their homework or memorised important facts, or to test recall of key elements from previous lessons.
These require more of the students than Recall questions. Response alternatives are based on common conceptual misunderstandings, giving the instructor an opportunity to identify and explain these misconceptions. Examples of Comprehension questions are those which ask students to classify a range of examples, match characteristics to a concept, select the best definition for a concept, or choose between a range of interpretations of a statement.
This type of question requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding to specific situations and contexts. Application questions ask students to make a judgement about a given scenario, to apply course content to a real context, to implement procedures and methods, or to predict the results of an experiment.
This type of question requires students to analyse relationships between different concepts or to evaluate results based on a set of criteria. Such questions typically take the format ‘select the best answer’, with a number of alternative responses based on justifiable evidence. The reasoning and arguments behind a student’s chosen response have greater weight than the response itself. This can be a good way to prepare students prior to taking part in a class discussion.
Questions which ask students to share their opinions, experience or demographic information. There are no right or wrong responses to this type of question. By helping you to gain insight into your students’ opinions, these questions can assist both instructor and students to better understand a range of perspectives. These questions can often stimulate lively discussion, particularly when they touch on ethical, legal or moral subject matter. Students can use these questions to anchor their own personal experiences to more abstract course content. Audience response systems offer a level of anonymity that is often essential for asking questions of this nature.
These questions are designed to give the instructor feedback on how students are coping with the learning process. For example, to get an overview of student progress, the instructor could ask students whether they have started a draft of an assignment a week before the deadline for that project. By asking students how long an assignment took, the instructor can gain valuable insight into the difficulty level of the assignment. Audience response technology can also be used to test students’ understanding of course policy, or their memory of tips and guidelines given out on the first day of the course. Course Evaluation questions can be run frequently during the course, and not just at the end.
Audience response systems lend themselves easily to gathering in student data during classroom experiments, for example with psychology students. Data gathered from students during a lesson can be used to draw conclusions about social behaviours. Real-time collection and analysis of this data can create a sense of immediacy and relevance for experiments of this sort.