Revision and Questioning

December 1, 2010   

Sorry, haven't posted in a while. I'll try to get back to more regular updates.

Last week, my classes had some NABs to do and so the topic of revision came up. In a lot of cases people revised well and if they didn't pass a section there was an explanation for it. They could do examples in class fine but forgot a formula. They were off the day we taught that formula and missed the catch-up class. They just got a little confused but have demonstrated to me in class that they know what they are doing - with a little more practice they'll be fine.

Then there are the students who I managed to miss. I completely missed the fact they couldn't do a subject. Now the problem isn't that I didn't ask or speak to them about the subject the issue is I didn't ask the right questions. Before the test I made sure that I went round and spoke to everyone to see how they were getting.

The problem is I ask things like "Are you getting on ok?" or "Do you understand?" or "Do you have any questions?"...

These questions are pretty useless. They rely on the student knowing they have a problem and/or being willing enough to own up to it. I need to ask questions that actually check whether the student knows what they are actually doing. Sometimes this might be difficult because I think I'll need to get students to start questions because there are few topics in my classes of which knowledge can be tested by a simple verbal question.