Effective Questions

Asking questions is a very frequently used teaching tool. Here are some suggestions for asking effective questions.

  • Allow your students sufficient time to process questions that you ask. Wait at least five seconds before calling on students to respond.
  • Use both close-ended and open-ended questions. Close-ended questions work best for factual information (e.g., In what year did the United States enter World War II?). Open-ended questions stimulate students’ creativity and use of high-level cognitive processes (e.g., Why did the United States enter World War II?).
  • Rephrase a question if students are unable to respond correctly. Don’t simply provide the correct answer.
  • Focus on one question at a time. Asking multiple questions will only confuse your students.
  • Start your lesson with relatively easy questions and proceed to more difficult questions.