Probing Learner Thinking
Questioning is a valuable part of the assessment process because it helps establish what learners already know, asks them to use and extend this knowledge, and then to develop new ideas. Questions that have learners to use higher-order thinking skills help them use their knowledge to problem solve, to analyze, and to evaluate. These types of questions reveal the most about whether or not a learner has truly grasped a concept. This is because a learner needs to have a deep understanding of the topic in order to answer this type of question.
Probe learners' initial responses to help them clarify ideas, support a point of view, or extend their thinking. It also helps to allow plenty of “wait time” so that learners have an opportunity to formulate a thoughtful response. Questioning helps learners think and express their ideas and also provides insight into areas needing further study. Good questions will challenge common misconceptions, set up a conflict, or address areas of ambiguity.
< Return to Checking for Understanding