Asking questions is a very important and effective teaching technique that teachers have always been using for a long time. In fact, how can you even know that you know something before you answer a few questions concerning it. In most cases, asking and answering questions will always seem boring, but it’s extremely worth it, because of the following reasons.
1. To get all learners involved
Once you start asking random questions to random students, you’ll realize that students are becoming more attentive because they don’t want to be caught off-guard.
You must realize that rumbling on and on with topics is not the ideal way to teach your students to do anything. Instead, it makes them take the whole thing for granted.
2. To motivate learners
When learners know that they have to answer a question or a set of questions, they become motivated to read, revise and stay attentive through every lesson. Here’s how you can achieve this;
- Ask questions that need research and consultation
- The questions should relate to what they know or can apply
This is because learners don’t want to be at the bottom row of the results sheet. Therefore, asking questions ignites their competitive sense.
3. To develop critical thinking skills
Asking questions awakens the critical thinking skills of your students in case you ask the correct questions. Here are the strategies you can follow in this sense;
- Ask challenging questions out of what they’ve already learned
- Give a few clues that will help them look for the other pieces of the puzzle
- Don’t ask very hard questions beyond their domain of knowledge because they’ll get discouraged
Students at a young age are capable of thinking critically if they have to use what they already know to find what they don’t.
4. To review a previous lesson
As one of the best ways to actually carry out the retrieval practice, you have to ask questions to your students to test the following;
- Whether they learnt what you taught them during the previous lesson
- If they have any questions and are afraid of asking you
- Whether they took the time to revise what you taught them
As for taking a look at the previous lesson, there is no better way compared to asking questions to the students themselves.
5. To assess achievement of academic goals
Every teacher has academic goals during every academic period. This is why asking questions to students in the classroom is one of the best ways to gauge the achievement of your set academic goals like;
- Syllabus coverage versus how much they’ve understood
- Adaptability of students
- Improvement in your own teaching techniques
6. To stimulate independent thinking
When students have to answer in a group, they can always go with what other people have said even without making their own personal contribution to it.
Therefore, asking questions to random students individually is one of the ways that you can get them to think for themselves (independently).
7. To gauge their attention levels
The human attention span is just a few seconds, and you have to remember that, even as you teach students.
So many students will confuse you by staring blankly at you while you talk your head off, even though they don’t understand a single thing you say. Therefore, fire at them with a question.
Questions asked to the general class are not enough to predict the amount of learning for every student on an individual basis. Therefore, all students always have to receive the same set of questions so everyone can be assessed individually – but the time allotted for the lesson isn’t enough for this.