Proverbs 23:12a Apply your heart to instruction.

Archive for February, 2015

Pitching questions for maximal (DOK) return

Here is the instructor’s challenge: How do I pose questions to facilitate maximal learning? At least one educator, John R. Walkup @jwalkup, believes that we can aim to achieve depth of knowledge (DOK) by posing questions in the right way: http://www.thinkgate.com/webinar-archive/questioning-strategies-form-download.  When you speak of improving quality of learning I want to buy-in. See his blogpost: What is DOK?  Alice Keeler @alicekeeler provides an insightful answer: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/02/13/dok-levels-students-critically-thinking/ Suppose you are of the not so old “old-school” and think that the pathway to maximal learning is found by following Blooms’ Taxonomy. Clearly there are ways to pose questions to heighten the quality of the conversation.   Rusul Alrubail @rusulalrubail recommends that we consider using the infographic found in Teach Thought: http://www.teachthought.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/blooms-question-stems.jpg So, here is the practical issue.  Suppose you have 26 pupils in a class.  Suppose your aim is to facilitate maximal learning, and that means satisfying the criteria for DOK or Blooms’ Taxonomy.  You agree with Walkup that this will not be achieved by allowing Mister or Miss First-hand-in-the-air to end the discussion.  You are prepared to pitch the question and wait. Wait before you pitch.  Take stock of the environment.  You are pitching one question to twenty-six students.  The first student that swings for the fence could end the inning.  (Yes, it takes skill to mix so many metaphors.) Before you pitch reconfigure.  You could pitch one question to twenty six and have one respondent.  Or you could pitch one question to thirteen think-pair-share groups.  If students are paired, they can reply to one another.  Presto. How would this work in an asynchronous setting?  Group your students in your LMS.  If your using Moodle group students so they cannot reply to members of other groups, that is visible or not-visible.  Pitch the question.  Allow replies.