a. Kinds of Questions. Generally questions are used to have students recall
the material you have taught, to stimulate thought, and to check student understanding.
Use of questions to recall a point you have covered will keep the students alert to your
lecture. It is harder to daydream through a lecture when you know that you may be
called on to recall a part of the lesson at any minute.
(1) Questions to stimulate. Questions to stimulate thought might be
something like, "If you were in this situation, how would you have handled the
problem?" You might even ask about a situation where the lesson solution would not
work. Be careful to use situations which would apply to the medic's duties and not
something which would be far a field.
(2) Questions to check understanding. If the purpose of your question is to
check understanding, it is often sufficient to change the phrasing of the question so that
even though the answer is contained in the lesson, the material must be changed in
some way to answer the question. If you have been describing the signs and symptoms
of several diseases and three of them included dizziness, upset stomach, and fever,
your first question could be, "Which disease might be indicated by dizziness, upset
stomach, and fever". "What else would you need to know before making a tentative
diagnosis?" could be your second (follow-up) question.
b. Clear Questions. Use short, clear questions.
(1) Question length. If you would normally use a lengthy question, use two
short ones instead. This way you can call on two students instead of one. Also, you will
not be asked to repeat the question nearly as often.
(2) Question language. Avoid using language your students cannot
understand. If lengthy terms are in your questions, they should have already been used
in the lesson.
(3) Purpose. A question is not to teach new material, but to stimulate
thought or check understanding. It is unfair to ask questions about material students
could not be expected to know. If you do this regularly, students will soon become
discouraged. Only those few students who have more than the required prerequisite
background will be able to answer. The others will feel left out and grow silent.
Questions should encourage participation, not stop it.
c. Compound Questions. Use one point per question.
(1) One question. Be sure your questions are not really two questions tied
together. "How are rivers and hills shown on a map?" is really two questions, one about
rivers and the other about hills. Ask them separately.