Journal of Family and Community Medicine

: 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-

Teaching tips - questioning

Khalid Al-Umran 
 Chief, Directorate of Medical Education College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khalid Al-Umran
Chief, Directorate of Medical Education College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam
Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:
Al-Umran K. Teaching tips - questioning.J Fam Community Med 2004;11:73-73

How to cite this URL:
Al-Umran K. Teaching tips - questioning. J Fam Community Med [serial online] 2004 [cited 2020 Oct 21 ];11:73-73
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Full Text

Questioning is a fundamental method of teaching. Posing certain questions can help learners develop a greater degree of understanding. In fact, questioning "opens" the learner's thinking and checks misunderstanding.

The Purpose of Questioning

To arouse interest in the subjectTo test the previous knowledge of the subjectTo motivate the students through allowing them to demonstrate successTo help understanding through getting the students to rephrase in their own wordsTo promote discussion and help give new insights by challenging or guiding questionsTo strengthen (consolidate) learning by asking the students to summarizeTo stimulate critical thinking through encouraging making conclusionsTo facilitate diagnosis (or evaluation) of students strengths and weakness

Types of questions

There are two categories of questions: closed questions, which can be answered with a yes, or no, and open questions, which aim to elicit more expansive replies and encourage further discussion. While closed questions only check knowledge or understanding, open questions stimulate high order thinking (i.e. reasoning, judgment, problem-solving). Prefixing a question with How, Why, Explain, Compare, What if or Predict (provoking words) make it more likely to be an open-ended question.

Guidelines for Effective Questioning

Focus on objectives (think about the purpose of the question)Ask only one question at a timeUse interpretative and problem-solving questions rather than questions requiring recallBraden ideas by using questions that involve comparison or different viewpointsWait for some time, between asking and expecting an answer, to allow students to thinkIf students do not respond rephrase or clarify the questionUse verbal encouragement (e.g. Go on) and non-verbal encouragement (e.g. Smiling) to get further responseGive negative feedback to wrong answers by focusing on the response (not the student)