Question Answer Method 

Questioning is a powerful technique of teaching subjects. Through this technique, the teacher transacts lot of learning experiences. The teacher asks questions and the responses given by the students are strengthened and elaborated.
According to Lorber and Pierce ( 1990),    Instructional Inputs in Subjects questions can be used to find out how well students understand ·a particular block of information, to shift student's attention from one point to another, to increase retention of important points by isolating and emphasizing them, and to put students in the right direction before starting assignments. Questioning facilitates high order thinking skills like analysis, synthesis and evaluation in the students.

In order to increase the effectiveness of questions you may take the following steps:

·        Stat the question clearly and precisely :A question must be clear and precise. There should not be any ambiguity in the question. For example, a question like "What about Buddhism?" does not convey any meaning to the students. It would be better to ask "How does Buddhism differ from Jainism?"

·          Pause after asking the question and allow it to "hang overhead": The teacher should ask the question clearly and then pause before calling on someone to respond. This helps students to think about their answer.

·     Call on students at random : While calling on students, the teacher should not follow any specific pattern such as seating arrangement, alphabetical arrangement, etc. Rather, he should call on students at random.

·       Provide immediate feedback to students :The teacher should give immediate feedback after receiving students' responses. He should tell the students if the response is partially correct or wholly correct.

Questions can be classified in various ways. One way is to categorize questioning according to Blooms' Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.

i)   Knowledge (or simple recall) :"What are the salient features of lndian Constitution?"

ii) Comprehension (or u understanding) :"What do you mean by a volcano?"

iii) Application (using information) :"What would be the time in Paris when the time in New Delhi is 12 noon?"

iv) Analysis (or pulling an idea apart) "What is the impact of the British rule on independent India?"

v) Synthesis (putting together something new) :"'How would you have improved upon Germany's strategy during the Battle of Britain?"

vi) Evaluation (making and defending a judgment) :"Do you favour the parliamentary form of government, and why ?"

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Questions could also be categorized according to their essential functions:

 i. Probing questions 

Probing questions are meant for motivating students to go beyond their initial responses and help themselves in solving the problem. For example, to a response, like "Barter economy means exchange of goods for goods." the teacher may say "Good" and ask the student to provide an example of "barter economy".

ii. Open-ended questions :

These questions have definite right or wrong answer; Students are free to think on their own and provide answers with a logic. A question like "What will happen to the Island country of Maldives if the temperature on the earth increases ?" may be asked of the students.

iii. Convergent questions: 

Convergent questions are designed to "converge" on a particular idea or point and are meant for inducing a principle or deducing an answer. An example of a convergent - 'How do farm subsidies affect consumer prices?"

iv. Divergent questions: 

Divergent questions are helpful to draw a student's attention away from one point and allow it creative freedom to settle on a different but related point. "What present day parallels do we have, if any, to the Indus Valley Civilization?" is a divergent question which inspires students to think divergently on two analogous situations.

Advantages of Question-Answer Method

(i) It can be used in all teaching situations.
(ii) It helps in developing the power of expression of the stu­dents.
(iii) It is helpful to ascertain the personal difficulties of the students.
(iv) It provides a check on preparation of assignments.
(v) It can be used to reflect student's background and attitude.
(vi) It is quite handy to the teacher when no other suitable teaching method is available.

Disadvantages of Question-Answer Method

(i) It requires a lot of skill on the part of teacher to make a proper use of this method.
(ii) It may sometime mar the atmosphere of the class.
(iii) This method generally is quite embracing for timid stu­dents.
(iv) It is time consuming

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