Skip main navigation


Watch STEM Ambassadors and teachers and how they use questions with young people.

We use questioning when communicating with others for many reasons. When in a learning or instruction situation, we generally use questions to:

  • Maintain the flow of the learning within the lesson/activity.
  • Engage students with the learning.
  • Assess what has been learned.
  • Check that what has been learnt is understood and can be used.
  • Provide an opportunity for pupils to share their opinions/views and seek responses from their peers.
  • Encourage creative thought and imaginative or innovative thinking.
  • Foster speculation, hypothesis and idea/opinion forming.
  • Create a sense of shared learning and avoid the feel of a ‘lecture’.


Watch the video of STEM Ambassadors and a teacher asking questions. Compare the purpose of the different questioning techniques. Note in the comments below which types of questions were used and how the students responded to them.
This article is from the free online

Volunteering in the Classroom: Communication Skills for STEM Volunteers

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now