Four Ways to Improve Question and Answer Sessions to Show You’re in Co
Sep 23, 2011 Teaching 2293 Views
Question and answer sessions are an important part of lessons and are integral to test students’ comprehension of material, as well as to let you as the teacher know where your students are in terms of their understanding of lesson concepts. Sometimes, however, these sessions can go flat. Students can tune out, opt out, play dumb, etc, as a way to get out of participating. So how can you improve your question and answer sessions to get more out of your students and display your control?
Below are four ways to accomplish just that:
1. Don’t always ask students who have their hands up
We all know that there are a handful of students who always raise their hands. Students know this as well, and depend on these few students to do the work for the rest of them. So start picking on those students who are obviously not paying attention. Eventually they will have no choice but to sit up and pay attention because no student wants to look bad in front of others.
2. If a student is stumped by your question, don’t just move on to someone else
When we move onto another student, we not only let that student off the hook, but we also don’t do them any favours. Keep asking the same student but break down the question into simpler and simpler terms until they can provide you with an answer. This is important if you want to stop students from opting out. If students realize that if they say they don’t know, you will move on, then they will start making that excuse just to get out of answering questions. So to stop this, you have to rephrase the question to help them understand. Your students need to learn that they must take part in the lesson and also that taking part is pain-free.
3. Always say the student’s name after you’ve asked the question
If you say a student’s name before you ask the question, the other students will relax and tune out before you’ve finished asking the question because they know they aren’t responsible for knowing the answer. So, the best way to make sure that everyone listens is to ask the question, then pause, look around the room, and then name the student you want to answer.
4. Make questions a regular part of your lesson
When you are giving information to your class, remember that young people have a short attention span and that, because of different learning styles, many of them simply can’t take in much information that is dished out to them purely through lecture. Because of this fact, you should frequently ask questions to gauge how much of the new information you’ve given them they’ve actually retained and can use.
By utilizing these four techniques in your next question and answer session, you will be bound to take your students off guard, and see an improvement in your students’ attentiveness. Not only will these help your students to pay attention, but it will also improve your students’ performance levels and your ability to gauge learning and comprehension levels in your classroom.