Asking and answering questions are important to communication. Questions stimulate thought and encourage or force participation. They also help the instructor adjust the class to the students. Questions may uncover misunderstandings, and allow you to clear them up before student evaluations begin.
Questions should be asked for a specific reason. They must have a purpose. This may be to emphasize a point, review material, or stimulate thought. See explanations below:
Increases Student Interest. Class interest increases and improves when student participation is obtained by questions. These questions can come from the instructor or a student. Students generally are more interested in hearing one of their group than the instructor. They feel that they add to the instruction if they can ask questions and answer questions from the instructor.
Stimulate Student Thinking. Students are more alert when they are held responsible for learning. They will pay closer attention and think more about the subject if they know that questions will be asked. Instructors who ask questions and call for student questions are helping their students learn.
Reveals Student attitudes. Students’ responses often show how they feel about the subject or the entire training program. Student attitudes are important to the instructor. They reveal the presence or absence of motivation.
Permits Student Contribution. Students will have new ideas about the lesson material and should be encouraged to contribute these to the class. Such participation is good. It stimulates interest, adds variety, and also adds material to the lesson.
Provides Emphasis and Reinforcement of Main Points. Remembering important points is made easier by questioning. Just asking a question about some point emphasizes that idea. Correct responses to questions reinforce the correct ideas in the students’ minds.
Checks the Effectiveness of the Instruction. One of the best ways to check the understanding of ideas is by direct questioning. This shows if the methods, techniques, and approach you have used are working. Student answers to these questions show exactly where the instruction has been poor.
Source: U.S. Navy
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