In the previous three blog posts of our Question Qualities mini-series, we explored a world of questioning. Our main quest was to find a way towards the generation, formulation, and answering of “good questions.” With Dr. Harry Stokhof, we operationalized relevance, feasibility, and learning potential as question quality criteria and we discussed their different levels.
We now summarize these criteria into a tangible infographic to download and refer back to when pursuing or examining question qualities:
The different combinations of these criteria and levels can give you a clue for “good questions.” Although the mix and match can lead to alternative results, we suggest that a level-0 question would probably be ineffective for learning; a level-1 question would most likely reflect the need for basic information; a level-2 or level-3 question would indicate a wonderment question.
HARRY’S TIP 💡
It’s important to appreciate and value the efforts of questioners to reach out and probe their understanding. Taking every question seriously as an attempt to learn supports learners to appreciate that their questions can be important thinking tools to develop knowledge and understanding.
We can always remind ourselves of these criteria when questioning is involved. If we’re standing on the questioning side, we can improve our questions; if we’re on the answering side, we can make suggestions for improved questions. Questions – and ultimately, good questions – are key for developing an effective inquisitive spirit. As Elie Wiesel (Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1986) wrote “…every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer.”