Saturday, December 20, 2008

FAQs-- Questions Matter

I have asserted in a variety of places that an important way to structure "learning objects" and ultimately to structure content on the web for use in multiple learning environments is through the use of questions. Today I bumped into a wonderful little quote that I will use in the future whenever I begin conversations about why questions are useful in learning.

"Questions are the door to human wonder" (p. 23). Harvey, S. (1998). Nonfiction matters. York, ME: Stenhouse.

This is a nice way to begin a discussion that questions are at the foundation of learning and when we start with the questions that a learner begins with we can take them through a maze of knowledge in an interesting and useful way that begins to link information to deeper and deeper knowledge and richer questions, but it always seems like the first place to begin instruction is with the learner's own questions.


Jason said...

Yes! Yes! and More Yes!

I can think of very, very few exchanges of communication that don't involve questions and answers, yet somehow in teaching, and all too often in workplace communications we don't seem to come back to this.

I wrote about this in a bit more tongue-in-cheek fashion a while back. Observationally (and it would be interesting to test) - trying to focus on getting answers (or in the instructional context, walking the questioner along the path to the answer) to every question that comes into an individual, group, organization (or instructor) would go a long way to improving communication (and instruction)

Robert Hughes Jr, PhD said...

This is a very interesting perspective on "questions" that I hadn't really considered. Jason's extended discussion of "answering questions" in the workplace suggests that there may be many other contexts in which organizing information around FAQs or Q&As could be beneficial.

Jason's post also suggests there may be other benefits in terms of signaling "openness" and "responsiveness" by basing communication on the give and take of questions and answers.

vīriešu sejas kopšana said...

This was very interesting to read!