Reciprocal Questioning, Questioning to Increasing Understanding, and Reflective Questioning
Student reciprocal questioning refers to an interactive verbal dialogue that begins initially with guidance from a facilitator but progresses to self-regulation by the student him/herself. The facilitator may be an instructor, a tutor, or another student.
The reciprocal questioning process may be divided four components. The first involves summarization of the information. This is followed by clarification of the information. The third component is generation of questions based on the information. Prediction during verbal interaction between and among the facilitator and student(s) is the fourth component.
Verbalization by students, independently or with the help of a facilitator, encourages renewal, reorganization, and clarification of new material. Asking questions encourages oral rehearsal and rethinking of new material. These forms of dialogue are internalized by students over time, so that he/she may question him/herself without the use of a facilitator.
Studies indicate that reciprocal questioning encourages students to give more high-level elaboration responses to questions and discourages low-level elaboration responses (King 1990). Webb (1989) found that when students were trained in question generation , reciprocal peer questioning increased comprehension of new material. Reciprocal questioning by peers provides a context that guides students in constructing knowledge-based ideas that are accurate and well elaborated. Palinscar and Brown (1984) determined that guided questioning encourages explanations and elaborated responses among peers, and that students gradually perform more like the facilitator model over time.
Questions to Increase Understanding
The following sample questions focus on thinking skills and are intended to increase student understanding of information. The questions are divided according to the cognitive skills they target (Dr. Judy Van Voorhis, Education Department, Muskingum College).
Observing and Recalling
Relationships, Summarizing, Organizing, and Retelling
Predicting, Inferring, and Anticipating
The purpose of reflective questions is to encourage students to think carefully about material and to process information in new ways. Examples of reflective questions, adapted from King (1992) are provided below.