Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsThis week, you'll be working in detail on hinge point questions. I want to start by breaking things down a bit. What we are calling a hinge is just a point in a sequence of teaching when you need to check if your students are ready to move on, and if yes, in which direction. The hinge point question is simply the question you ask your students when you reach the hinge. It's a diagnostic question and the responses to the question give you evidence about what you and your students need to do next.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsFor example, a primary school teacher had been teaching a class about lines of symmetry, and to check the class's understanding, she displayed six polygons labelled A to F. And for each one, she asked the class to indicate by finger voting how many lines of symmetry the shape has.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsFrom the responses, the teacher could quickly gauge the level of understanding of the whole class and also easily identify which students were struggling. Next, we'll ask you to review a batch of questions and to categorise them by their "hingyness."

The characteristics of hinge-point questions

In this video Dylan explains hinge-point questions step-by-step.

As Dylan outlines:

  • a hinge is a point in a lesson when you need to check if students are ready to move on, and if yes, in which direction;

  • a hinge-point question is a diagnostic question that you ask your students when you reach the hinge, responses to which give you evidence about what you and your students need to do next.

The video concludes with an example from primary maths.

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Assessment for Learning in STEM Teaching

National STEM Learning Centre

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