Questions can easily be seen as one of the most powerful tools in every classroom because they can easily keep a lesson flowing, highlight any misconception, or even open up a discussion that creates a deeper understanding for the students of the topic in view. Good teaching in a classroom can be underpinned by the art of asking questions to aid effective communication and exchange of information. When you use questions properly, it can easily improve the student’s learning experience by exposing them to utilise the art of questioning. Let us know What are the ‘Types Of Questions In A Classroom’.
Types Of Questions In A Classroom
The types of questions in a classroom include Open questions, closed questions, probing questions, leading questions, convergent questions, divergent questions, funnel questions, affective questions, loaded questions, display questions, ethical questions, binary questions, multiple-choice questions, focal questions, rhetorical questions, and recall and process questions.
Tips And Techniques For Asking Questions In A Classroom
- Ask questions with logic and sequence.
- Ask questions at different levels.
- Avoid questions that are vague and ambiguous.
- Clearly and specifically phrase questions.
- To get a wide range of responses, ask divergent questions.
- Ask questions to the level and understanding of students.
- Allow students to think when asked a question.
- Avoid asking rhetorical questions.
Types Of Questions In A Classroom With Examples
1. Open Question
Mostly used when seeking more detailed information about a person or thing, Open questions often require additional information and encourage an elaborate response that does not end with a yes or no. Open questions are used to evaluate understanding but most importantly they aid proper thinking before a student’s response which is usually detailed but opens up greater discussion.
- Why does Eli enjoy art lessons so much?
- What is the main purpose of attending summer school?
2. Closed Question
Also known as polar, Closed questions are useful for getting an immediate response. Teachers use this often to analyze students’ understanding by checking if they can remember specific and factual information. This response could easily be yes or no to an icebreaker question in class which is always easy to answer. Closed questions can be adopted as a method to check retention, practice recall, and double-check any misconception that should be addressed.
- Are you old enough to be in College?
- Do you like the new approach adopted in the science class?
3. Rhetorical Question
Often used for persuading students or building engagement, a rhetorical question does not require a response. These questions are greatly engaging, allowing the listener to easily be drawn to agreeing with you. In a classroom, rhetoric questions are used to remind students of information they already know and when it is important they tend not to forget easily.
- Isn’t it nice working on this group assignment?
- Don’t you think winning the quiz was amazing?
4. Leading Questions
This is designed to easily support and guide students to respond in a certain way the teacher wants. Leading questions are framed to enable students to reach an optimistic and desired response to which they are not able to respond independently. It is important to use leading questions appropriately because most times they seem manipulative. Leading questions are useful for creating positive discussions and leading a conversation toward a result that interests you.
- The Principal acknowledges that hard work and consistency breed brilliance, what do you think about that?
- Can you identify any other formula for solving this equation?
5. Loaded Questions
Used as guidance or assumptions to impose views and beliefs on the student answering the question, loaded questions are framed positively or negatively to influence an expected response. To trick students into consenting to an assumption before exposing it as correct or incorrect, a teacher can use a loaded question. This approach is used to encourage students to always question people’s perceptions and mere assumptions so that they don’t always blindly agree with everything they have been told.
- Does anyone disagree with the school trip idea?
- This is an amazing article that proves your intelligence, does everyone agree?
6. Probing Questions
Probing questions are a series of questions that goes in-depth in order to provide a clearer picture of a subject. Most times they are usually follow-up questions to aid students to gain clarity and also encourage them to justify their thoughts. Probing questions are useful for getting a bigger picture or encouraging a reluctant student to give you information and avoid misunderstanding.
- What might be missing from your previous attempt?
- What impact will that have on your studies?
7. Divergent Questions
These sets of questions do not require a specific response so teachers used them to encourage students to think out of the box about specific subjects. With this question, students tend to consider several scenes, ideas, and examples as they try to understand the question before they respond. Divergent questions are useful for helping students evaluate, synthesize and analyze information adequately.
- What are five ways you can knot a bow tie?
- Why did the movie end in tragedy?
8. Convergent Questions
Convergent questions are often helpful for problem-solving subjects which are multi-purpose in nature. These types of questions require students to pull opinions together from either two or more areas of specialization and evaluate them to develop a more rational conclusion.
- What one word can appropriately explain the topic?
- What is the familiar subject there?
9. Multiple Choice Questions
These types of questions are always used to offer students the opportunity to answer the question by choosing an option in the list provided by the teacher. Variations are mostly used where students are supposed to identify more than one correct answer from a list of options, identify an odd option from the list available, or a situation that uses an “all of the above” approach. Making options available for students with multiple-choice questions gives the student a very high possibility of getting the answer correct.
- Which of these is not part of the cat family? (one correct answer)
(i) Tiger (ii) cheetah (iii) Wolf (iv) Jaguar.
- Which of these is not a country? (odd one out)
(i) Qatar, (ii) Togo (iii) Berlin (iv) Trinidad and Tobago
10. Funnel Questions
As the name implies, funnel questions start in a broadway pattern before narrowing to the main point and vice versa. These questions are useful in diffusing tension, like a scenario where a student needs to go into detail about the issues that currently agitate them which gives you the information you require to advise them and help them find a solution that will calm them and make them have a positive feeling. Funnel questions are useful for seeking certain information, creating friendships, and diffusing verbal brawls.
- How may I be of help to you? (open funnel)
- When exactly did this issue start? (probing)
- Are you sure about this? (closed funnel)
11. Binary Questions
Binary questions usually have two available opposing responses and can easily be used as questions that require a yes or no, agree or disagree, accept or decline response because it forces students to pick one from two of the opposing options available. These questions are more efficient when it requires no correct response or when every response is considered correct. Students should easily be able to analyze and justify their choices without minding the responses they give.
- Do we have the right strategy?
- What can I now do better in order to lead my team well?
12. Focal Questions
These types of questions need students to pick and justify their perceptions about something or a particular topic. Focal questions typically force the students to give their take on the topic whether they accept it or not, then go on to provide the logical reason behind why they decided to make that choice.
- Do you believe in love at first sight? If so, why so? If not, why not?
- What do you think about capitalism as the best philosophy for governments? If so, why so? If not, why not?
Although you might not be asked some of these questions, it is always important to think more deeply about the types of questions asked in a classroom and the context by both teachers and students because it is a very critical tool for effective learning. When teachers appreciate the significance of questioning and responses students give, it boosts their confidence and creates a conducive learning environment. Thoughtful questions in a classroom help students explore a deeper level of comprehension, make inferences, think critically and creatively and connect concepts to make meaning.
- What Are The characteristics of a good classroom question?
The characteristics of good classroom questions are that:
- It has a plan for the topic.
- It maintains focus on the topic.
- It has purpose and meaning.
- It probes and explores the previous response for greater information.
- It is constructive and positive.
- What Is The purpose of a question?
The purpose of a question is to
- Qualify a topic, subject, or idea.
- Characterize a topic or subject.
- Compare and contrast the topic.
- Define and categorize the topic.
- Justify an idea or view.
- Create new learning ways.
- Paraphrase or summarise a topic.