During my short time in PCE teaching, I have come to notice that students are far more engaged in the study material when the instructor creates an atmosphere of discussion in the classroom, where the questions during the lecture encourage the student to take pause, think about the material, and then they fill free to provide feedback to the teacher.
A1. Teachers can use the questioning probe technique for a number of different reasons during the classroom lecture time. The teacher can use questioning to gauge the students overall understanding of the material being presented, a sort of oral assessment of the student body, the teacher can then take this information and make adjustments to their lesson plan to improve the delivery of the information for future lectures. The teacher can also use questions to keep the students attentions during a lecture by keeping the students involved in the learning process, this also helps the teacher pace their lesson and can be used to moderate student behavior. Questioning can help to build students confidence, when the student hear other students thought processes connected with the lecture material, the student may realize that they can provide meaningful input to the lecture discussion. (Brualdi, 1998) Probing questing helps the instructor assess whether a student understands the lecture content. During questioning the teacher can look for visual clues given from the student, such as is the student looking at you and paying attention to your comments? This type of questioning can assist in helping students form connections between prior experiences and knowledge, which can help the students relate to the current instruction. Questioning can help the teacher assess weather the lesson pace is being received well by students, if you find the content, or lecture progression has lost the students' attention, the instructor can adjust the lesson pacing, or topic approach to re-focus the students' attention. Probing questioning help the teacher mix the instruction content with student discussion by stimulating studentsââ‚¬â„¢ thinking to help the studentsââ‚¬â„¢ articulate ideas and thoughts, helping the student to move from a concrete factual understanding of the material covered to a personal understanding of the content presented in a supportive, guided atmosphere. (Good & Brophy , 16 June 2009)
A2. The questioning probe can be a practical way for an instructor to judge the students comprehension of the objective being presented. From the feedback the students provide to the questioning, the teacher can reformat the lesson plan to accommodate for situations. If students are having trouble, teachers must slow down and repeat explanations. If all students show understanding, the teacher can move on to a new topic. (Slavin, 2006, pg 219) The mere repetition of tasks by students is unlikely to lead to improved learning skills related to understanding lesson objectives. Through Probing questioning, an instructor can start a guided classroom discussion where, learning often takes place best, when students have opportunities to express ideas and get feedback from their peers. But for feedback to be most helpful to learners, it must consist of more than the correct answers, feedback need to be provided at times during the discussion when students are interested in the content. Probing questioning techniques prompt discussion and provide time for students to reflect on the feedback they receive, from the instructor as well as from their peers, the students can then make immediate adjustments to their understanding of the content, and provide new formulated ideas back into the discussion for review. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990)
A3. During discussion time, it is important that the teacher be prepared with follow up questions that will encourage students to keep exploring the content introduced during the lecture. The teacher can work as a facilitator to the discussion, coaching the students toward a personal understanding of the information, while the other students will provide different perspectives from their interpretation of the lesson. Follow up questions can be used to stimulate studentsââ‚¬â„¢ critical thinking skills during these discussions, helping students to not only recall the factual information presented during the lecture, but to use the own knowledge base to form opinions, analyze and evaluate the information the teacher has provided, (Brualdi, 1998), allowing the students to incorporate previous knowledge with current course content making the content more meaningful to the students. Follow-up questions help increase student participation and encourage active learning, helping guide students by asking students to explain why they answered the way they did, or to provide evidence or example of their understanding of the lesson. The instructor should allow sufficient time for the students to formulate opinions to the follow-up questions, if the students are unable to answer the questioning, the concept can be re-taught as needed. Follow up questioning, helps the student to refine ideas or statements during classroom discussion, which will benefit the classroom, by allowing the concepts of the objective to be related to the other students on a peer-to-peer level, helping students organize information they may have been un-clear on. (The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009)
B1. It is important that during these discussions that the teacher provide the students with a platform to voice their opinions, without fear that they will be judged or criticized for their perspective on the lecture content. If the student fills that they will be supported by both the teacher and their peers, the student will be willing to participate in the discussion. And with greater participation comes greater understanding. But the facilitator must always keep the discussion progressing in a positive fashion, that is based on solid course content, and not allow for opinions the deviate form the course objective. This will keep the group focused, and allow everyone involved to take part in the active learning process.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1990). EFFECTIVE LEARNING AND TEACHING. Retrieved October. 2010, from http://www.project2061.org/publications/sfaa/online/chap13.htm
Brualdi, Amy C. (1998). Classroom questions. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 6(6). Retrieved October 25, 2010 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=6&n=6 .
Good, T., & Brophy , J. (16 June 2009). Contemporary Educational Psychology/Chapter 12: The Nature of Classroom Communication. Retrieved October. 2010, from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Contemporary_Educational_Psychology/Chapter_12:_The_Nature_of_Classroom_Communication
Salvin, R. E. (2006). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (8th Edition). Boston, Ma: Pearson.
The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis, (2009). Asking Questions to Improve Learning. Retrieved October. 2010, from http://teachingcenter.wustl.edu/asking-questions-improve-learning