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Deep Questions

Deep explanations of material and reasoning are elicited by questions such as why, how, what-if-and what-if not, as opposed to shallow questions that require the learner to simply fill in missing words, such as who, what, where, and when.  Training students to ask deep questions facilitates comprehension of material from text and classroom lectures.  The learner gets into the mindset of having deeper standards of comprehension and the resulting representations are more elaborate.  
  • Implications
    • Good questions promote deeper comprehension of the material. Teachers and students need to be trained on good question asking skills because most questions that get asked are shallow questions. Deeper questions lead to improved comprehension and learning at deeper levels of mastery. 
  • References
    • Craig, S. D., Sullins, J., Witherspoon, A., & Gholson, B. (2006). The deep-level reasoning effect: The role of dialogue and deep-level-reasoning questions during vicarious learning. Cognition and Instruction, 24, 565-591.
    • Graesser, A. C., & Person, N. K.  (1994). Question asking during tutoring.  American Educational Research Journal, 31, 104-137.
    • King A. (1994). Guiding knowledge construction in the classroom: Effects of teaching children how to question and how to explain. American Educational Research Journal, 31, 338-368.
    • Pressley, M. et al. (1992). Encouraging mindful use of prior knowledge:  Attempting to construct explanatory answers facilitates learning. Educational Psychologist, 27, 91-109.
    • Rosenshine, B., Meister, C., & Chapman, S. (1996). Teaching students to generate questions: review of the intervention studies. Review of Educational Research, 66, 181-221.