Sunday, 15 November 2015

What's your question?

Questions are a powerful communication tool.  They can direct the conversation and provide all kinds of information that those involved in the conversation can utilize.  Questions allow us to learn.  I ask questions to gather the information I need to discover where the students are in their learning to be a more effective instructor.  From here I can continue our dialogue and carry on or adjust my approach to provide greater clarity. Questions help me to build relationships with the students by getting to know them and being supportive of their goals. 

To be an effective instructor it is vital to be an excellent listener to propose a relevant question. The person asking the question is in a leadership position as they are driving where the discussion will go.  Questions engage the participants and provide the opportunity to discover and appreciate the opinions and thoughts of others.  This dialogue can be a very empowering process for everyone.

There is a responsibility to the person asking the questions. They must be mindful of their tone of voice and other non verbal communications.  A lot can be said or not said by non verbal communications such as, smiling when asking a question is beneficial to getting an answer.  Questions are powerful but it’s the way they are approached, for example, eye contact and body language which give the recipient the motivation to respond. 

Increasing the wait-time an instructor pauses, like when waiting for the students to answer a question and also after a question has been posed, promotes achievement. 
Research shows that there are two types of wait times. 

Wait time one is the amount of time between the teachers question and students response. It is suggested that this time should be increased from 1 second to 3-5 seconds as the quality of the students response increases. This extra time allows the student to absorb the information and think about the right answer. 

Wait time two is the time after the students initial response and before the teacher answers. It also suggests that the time should be increased from less than a second to 3-5 seconds as allows the student who asked the question, and other students to think about what they said. This extra time initiates a group discussion as others want to get involved in the conversation. 

A PIDP classmate posted this very informative site of the types of questions.

There are four the questioning techniques from this list I can see working particularity well for an Esthetics class.
  • Kipling & Socratic - I found these both beneficial in taking a discussion from surface to deep level learning
  • Clear - these types of questions are great to get an honest answer and encourage the person to express how they really feel
  • Closed - to get the facts from students and check recall

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