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Theme: Nuts and Bolts Session

Asking more and better questions in the first-year lecture

Helen Pennington
School of Psychology
Massey University


The session investigates ways of making the best use of questioning as a strategy in the first-year lecture. Insights from the educational literature, as well as extensive first-hand experience, underpin the ideas presented. The session considers the general benefits of using questions in lectures, and the particular benefits for first-year classes. A variety of question types, each with a particular purpose, is suggested. A specific technique, the “What happens next?” type of question, is demonstrated and discussed in detail. This technique is appropriate to research-based disciplines. The examples presented in this session are from the field of psychology, but the session emphasizes the wide applicability of the general strategy, and looks at ways of applying the strategy to other disciplines. Practical considerations such as timing and ways of eliciting students’ answers are discussed.

Full Paper in MS Word


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