Ask questions at times that suit your presentation of course material.
require students to think before answering. Dont use questions that give
Plan questions that
away the answer or
that students can answer
Use of Interrogative
with a simple yes or no.
Use the interrogatory word or phrase at the beginning of your question so that students know
immediately when you are asking a question.
Lets consider two examples where this is not
done: (1) The two sizes of firehose most frequently used in the Navy are what? and (2) You can
determine whether or not explosive vapors are in a compartment by what means?
Questions worded in this way handicaps the students in at least two ways. First, the students
are expecting a declarative statement, not a question. Second, they cannot identify the meaning
of the question until the final words are spoken. Note the improvement in these same questions
when the interrogatory word or phrase is placed at the beginning: (1) What are the two sizes
of firehose used most frequently in the Navy? and (2) By what means can you determine
whether or not explosive or toxic vapors are in a compartment?
Clarity of Meaning
Avoid the use of catch or trick questions as a teaching device, especially for beginners. Make
sure the wording of the question conveys to the students the true or intended meaning. The
students must understand what you want, regardless of whether they know the correct answer.
Where are storm warnings flown aboard ship? is a good question; but Where are storm
warnings flown? fails to indicate what point is being tested.
Make your questions brief, and limit them to one thought. To include too many factors in
a single question confuses the students.
Ask well-stated, clearly understood questions in a
normal conversational tone as part of the lesson. After each lesson, reevaluate your questions
in light of how the student responses contributed to better learning.
TYPES OF ORAL QUESTIONS
Learn to use oral questions throughout the lesson. Use them in the introduction to create
interest and focus attention on the subject matter and during the lesson presentation to ensure
student understanding. Then use them at the end of the presentation for review and drill
Feel free to ask factual, thought-provoking and interest-arousing questions as often as you
choose. Other types of questions may serve one or more useful purposes if used sparingly, but
may prove ineffective if you use them too often.
The factual question asks for specific information; for example, When was the first U.S.
nuclear powered submarine built? Although the primary purpose of the factual question is to
help students memorize facts, it may, under certain conditions, have important secondary