Unlocking the power of questions for different purposes

Unlocking the power of questions for different purposes


Dr Simon Child (Senior Research Officer)
Martin Johnson (Senior Research Officer)

Date: 01 Feb 2018 Venue: Hughes Hall Mortimer Road Cambridge CB1 2EW
Time: 10:30 - 12:00
Type: Training event Fee: £70.00

New training event for 2018

Questions are pervasive in ordinary conversation, and are also used in a variety of more formal learning and assessment contexts. This pervasiveness means that questions are sometimes taken-for-granted, making it difficult to recognise how they fulfill their various functions. 

I do enjoy these training courses and value the opportunities for development."

In this session Simon and Martin will introduce a framework that conceptualises some of the key dimensions of questions, and how these dimensions relate to question ‘richness’. Their framework also helps to discriminate between how questions may support learning-oriented (formative) or performance-oriented (summative) purposes, and makes explicit the features of questioning that can be manipulated within a learning episode. They also explore some of the reasons why intended richness may not achieved in some learning interactions. 

This training event is ideally suited for Teachers, Assessors and Publishers of teaching/assessment support materials.

Key outcomes/benefits of the talk: An understanding of the use of questions in everyday and learning contexts; An understanding of how questions can be used to support learning-oriented (formative) assessment; An understanding of how learning oriented questions relate to performance-oriented (summative) questions; How summative questions can be used to support formative (learning-oriented) assessment; An understanding of constructivist approaches to learning.

Course trainers

Simon Child specialist training Dr Simon Child is a Senior Research Officer in the Assessment and Research Division of Cambridge Assessment. Previously, he was a Senior Researcher in the Research and Technical Standards team at Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR). He has been working in the field of qualifications reform and development since 2012. His other research interests include quality of marking processes, curriculum development, formative assessment and Higher Education. His background is in developmental psychology. In 2011, he received his Ph.D from the University of Manchester, which focused on the development of symbolic cognition in pre-school children.

Martin Johnson specialist training Martin Johnson is a Senior Research Officer in the Assessment and Research Division of Cambridge Assessment. Prior to working at Cambridge he was a teacher for ten years. His areas of interest are, amongst other things, the impact of assessment mode on performance and behaviour, learners’ perceptions of assessment materials, the social implications of assessment, and influences on motivation. Martin has published in a number of areas, including research into the question writing process, the links between assessment outcomes and the technology through which they are mediated, assessors’ communication practices, and studies looking at the psychological and social aspects of assessment processes.

Mortimer Road Cambridge CB1 2EW

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