The Art of Asking Questions

Written by: Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D.

At one time or another, most of us have been disappointed by the caliber of the questions students ask in class, online, or in the office. Many of them are such mundane questions: “Will material from the book be on the exam?” “How long should the paper be?” “Can we use Google to find references?” “Would you repeat what you just said? I didn’t get it all down in my notes.” Rarely do they ask thoughtful questions that probe the content and stir the interest of the teacher and other students. This article offers some suggestions on modeling good questions and demonstrates how instrumental they can be in promoting thinking, understanding, and learning.

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