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ERIC Number: ED355421
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
A Question of Questions.
Fenwick, John; McMillan, Rod
In a conventional teaching situation, a lecturer may use a wide range of questioning techniques aimed at helping students to become active learners. In distance learning, students are often isolated and have limited opportunities for interaction in a social learning environment. Hence, learning strategies in distance learning need to be structured carefully to overcome this deficiency. The use of questions is one of the learning strategies available to assist in the development of didactic conversation. In particular, self-assessment questions (SAQs) have been used in distance education materials to provide feedback to students and to motivate students to search and think about some aspect of knowledge. Student-generated questions can be encouraged in order to lead students into adopting a deep approach to learning as opposed to a surface approach. Encouragement may take the form of verbal questions, written questions, and/or self-questioning. Instructors can demonstrate a sample approach. They can also ask students to write an assignment summarizing some concept including questions that the studied passage does not answer or does not raise. Students could also be asked to formulate a hypothesis and then present a reasoned argument for or against it. Textual design can also play a role. For example, the use of wide margins in text materials allows space for students to write questions in the margins. "Scaffolds" can be used to lead students to use higher-level thinking. In order to apply self-questioning strategies, students need to develop metacognitive skills so that they can monitor their learning and decide what learning strategies are appropriate in a given context. (Contains 28 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the World Conference of the International Council for Distance Education (16th, Bangkok, Thailand, November 8-13, 1992).