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Using questions

Using questions to obtain feedback from young people.
[Bradley] When I’m presenting to an audience of young people about STEM activities, the best feedback for me is questions. So I like to know that they are actually interested in the subject, and they want to know more. And also, when you see how excited they get when they do something or see something that they may not have seen before. What do you want in a car seat? Heating. Heating, okay. That’s good. Anything else? Cushioning. Cushioning, yeah, so you want it to be comfortable, right? Okay, is there anything else? So you get in the car, what is the purpose of that seat? So I think we had a couple of this already. Comfort, safety, that’s a big one.
So, if you’re the person in the car, you don’t want to be flying out through the windscreen, do you? What about style, do you want to look good? Do you want it to look cool, do you want it to, what about features? Do you wanna have a TV screen in the back or do you wanna have storage compartments, so cup holders?

In the previous course in the ExpertTrack on communication skills, you explored the type of questions you use to engage learners and to check understanding.

There are differences between:

  1. Questioning for engagement.
  2. Questioning to check understanding.
  3. Questioning specifically for feedback to improve activities and your skills/knowledge.

It is helpful to understand why you are asking questions, what the responses are likely to lead to and to have some pre-prepared questions for each of the different categories. However, we appreciate that often questions are interlinked and it is challenging to separate them.

We suggest that for each of the categories above how the responses could be used:

  1. Questioning for engagement: likely to allow you to adapt your delivery style for the group or change the nature of the activity.
  2. Questioning to check understanding: likely to allow you to adjust the complexity or level of the content you are delivering, possibly suggesting you recap key points.
  3. Questioning for feedback: likely to allow you reflect on and improve subsequent activities and your own skills/knowledge.


Watch the video above. What type of questioning is Bradley using?
If Bradley was to use questioning for feedback, could you identify two questions he could ask?
Post your ideas in the comments below to share with other learners.
In the feedback section of your activity plan, note down some specific questions you could ask to gather feedback on your activity.
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Volunteering in the Classroom: Feedback, Reviewing and Improving STEM Activities

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