DoingCL - Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning





Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning

There are times when students feel so confused by new concepts that they don't know what questions to ask. Guided reciprocal peer questioning provides students with higher order open-ended questions to generate a focused discussion in a small group setting. The questions are generic prompts students use to generate specific content-based questions.

The instructor gives a mini-lecture in class and then provides a list of open-ended questions. Below is a selection of these adapted from King (1993) and Millis and Cottell (and references cited within, 1998 ). Included are questions that encourage synthesis, comparison and contrast, and extrapolation to other contexts.

  • Explain why _______ .
  • Explain how _______ .
  • What is the meaning of _______ ?
  • Why is _______ happening?
  • What is the main idea of _______ ?
  • What is the solution to the problem of _______ ?

  • What if _______ ?
  • What conclusions can I draw about _______ ?
  • What is the best _______ and why?
  • What do you think causes _______ ? Why?

  • How does _______ affect _______ ?
  • How does _______ relate to what I've learned before?
  • What is the difference between _______ and _______ ?
  • How are _______ and _______ similar?
  • How would I use _______ to _______ ?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of _______ ?

  • What is another way to look at _______ ?
  • What is a new example of _______ ?
  • What would happen if _______ ?
  • What are the implications of _______ ?
  • Why is _______ important?
  • How does _______ apply to everyday life?
Students are then given a few minutes to individually prepare several content-specific questions aided by these open-ended questions. The students form groups and take turns asking their questions and discussing possible answers. Alternatively, the instructor can assign reading prior to class and provide the open-ended questions as a take home worksheet. With this variation, it is helpful to set aside a few minutes at the beginning of the next class for students to review the reading assignment and questions.

King, A. (1993). "From sage on the stage to guide on the side.", College Teaching, 41(1).

Millis, B. J., and Cottell, P. G., Jr. (1998). Cooperative learning for higher education faculty, American Council on Education, Series on Higher Education. The Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ.

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