Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, The Science of Learning. Join the course to learn more.

Developing effective knowledge recall strategies

It’s a good idea to have a bank of strategies so that you can vary the ways in which you get students to recall what they have learned. If this is a routine and quick part of lessons, then low-stakes questioning can help your students to practice new knowledge and strengthen their ability to recall it.

Asking the whole class a question and taking the answer from one student can be avoided with some useful questioning techniques:

  • Using mini-whiteboards can take a bit of drill and practice to work, but once the routine is established it’s a highly effective technique that ensures every student benefits from answering the question.
  • Think Pair Share. Giving every student enough time to think of the answer is often neglected in quick question and answer sessions, but it makes all the difference. After some time to think, students discuss their answer with a partner, before sharing it. This way, everyone in the room has answered the question regardless of who you eventually ask.
  • Ask the question and give everyone time to think about it before using a random name generator or names on lollisticks to choose who will answer. After all, if you address a question to a specific student, no one else has to think about it!


Share your favourite questioning techniques in the comments below.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

The Science of Learning

National STEM Learning Centre