cold call questioning = win

I was looking at a school website in the U.S recently and came across a simple questioning technique that I gave a go and found to be extremely effective. The technique is essentially used as a revision tool and checking for student understanding.They call it ‘cold calling’ and it basically involves not asking for ‘hands up’ but randomly calling on students for answers during class (nothing new here). The idea is to ask all students questions and spread the questions evenly around the class.

The bit I like is that if a student cannot answer the question then you ask another student and continue this process until a student answers correctly. Once they answer correctly you then go back to the previous students and ask them to repeat or re-clarify the answer for the rest of the group. I have found a couple of things happen when I start using this technique.

1. All students need to pay attention and ensure they listen to the answers and understand as I will often ask the same question to other students to check their understanding also. If they do not know the answer then they have an opportunity to learn from other students to clarify their understanding. By focusing questioning around core concepts and essential knowledge it can be an effective way to help all students develop a strong fundamental knowledge.

2. Not knowing is O.K and it gives the students an opportunity to learn from their classmates. All students are required to think and be ready to answer so I have found an increase in there attention during learning activities also when they know that cold calling will be used to check their understanding.

3. Is a great assessment for learning tool to get a snapshot of the class’s understanding of an issue. When students show a lack of understanding in an area it can be a good indication that students have not developed the understanding required and can be an indicator to consider how well the learning was covered.


2 Responses

  1. […] call questioning – here is an earlier reflection of my own in using this […]

  2. […] call questioning – here is an earlier reflection of my own in using this […]

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