Designing Effective Questions


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Welcome to Designing Effective Questions! This mini course was written as part of the Spring 2018 ETAP 623 course. Questions can serve as some of the best formative assessments and help teachers get a sense of how their students are progressing in a lesson. In addition, questions can be used to deepen students' thinking or understanding of a topic. Unfortunately, in order to deliver a question that promotes this deeper thinking, teachers must be aware of a variety of strategies that lead to effective questioning. While teachers may think their questions are eliciting deep thinking, many are not following all of the steps necessary to deliver these effective questions. In this course, participants will focus on what effective questions are, how to write effective questions, and how to implement effective questions. They will then have the chance to apply their learning by writing and delivering a lesson using effective questioning strategies. Finally, participants will reflect on their students' responses to their delivered questions to improve on their questioning strategies.

Course Overview

By the end of this course participants will be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is an effective question?
  • How can I write an effective question?
  • How can I deliver an effective question?
  • How should I include effective questions into my lesson plans?
  • What can students' responses to my questions tell me about how to write even better questions in the future?

This course is organized into two units with two lessons each. As participants work through the course, participants will be asked to:

  • read various passages
  • watch instructional videos
  • reflect on their learning and their own classroom
  • analyze case studies for effective strategies
  • write entries in a K-W-L shared page
  • write and deliver a lesson

Unit 1: What are effective questions and how do I write and deliver them?

Effective Thinking LaPaglia.jpg

Unit 1 Objective:

Participants will be able to write and deliver effective questions.

Lesson 1: What constitutes an effective question?

Lesson 1 Objective:

Participants will determine the characteristics of an effective question.

Lesson 2: How can you implement an effective question?

Lesson 2 Objective:

Participants will determine what strategies are necessary to deliver effective questions.

Unit 2: How can effective questioning strategies be implemented in the classroom?

Improvement LaPaglia.jpg

Unit 2 Objective:

Participants will deliver effective questions and reflect on how their questions can be improved.

Lesson 3: How can I plan effective questions in my lesson?

Lesson 3 Objective:

Participants will create and implement a lesson that incorporates effective questioning strategies.

Lesson 4: How can I use the feedback from students to deepen their thinking?

Lesson 4 Objective:

Participants will reflect on their students' responses to determine how to improve on their future questions.