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"Making Students Think: The Art of Questioning"

Get your students out of passive mode!
Here's what one workshop participant said one week after attending the workshop:
When I asked my first question, suddenly eyes that had been narrow slits opened wide, students who had been slumped in their seats sat upright, and the whole class came alive!

Professors and other instructors often have a lot of information to impart to their students, and precious little classroom time. How can they use that classroom time most effectively? Should they spend it lecturing? Are there ways to lecture that keep students stimulated and actively involved?

"Making Students Think: The Art of Questioning" discusses and demonstrates how to turn a one-way lecture into an interactive discussion that engages students and gets them thinking, whether you are teaching a 10-person seminar or a 500-person lecture class.

Rosie Piller presented this 90-minute workshop to members of the CU-Boulder faculty. They had this to say:

"This really made me think about questions in ways that I hadn't before. It will also cause me to reevaluate how I dispense information."

"The notion of active learning through questioning made a big impression. So I am contemplating an experiment in which I change the format to a question-centric model."

"Very good. I really enjoyed the session."

"Good job getting me to think differently about using questions in class.... Gets me out of my 'stuck in a rut' ways."

"Should be required for all faculty in our department."

"Very useful session. Breaking down the questioning process into parts was very useful."

"The concrete discussions/examples of what to do/say in specific [problem] situations were valuable."

"One of the most valuable parts of the session was looking at how you asked questions—you modeled many of the principles you discussed very effectively. Excellent class management in terms of getting everyone involved."

Scheduled workshops:
Please contact rosie.piller@gmail.com for information about upcoming workshops.

More details about the workshop:
Many instructors with excellent knowledge of the subject matter, good organizational skills, and a dynamic delivery style get less-than-expected results because they do not question effectively. They ask too few questions. They ask questions that are too simple, too hard, or too similar. They ask in a way that allows most of the audience to go to sleep. Or they give up if they encounter a passive audience. This workshop discusses options instructors have in the choice, timing, and delivery of questions. It also suggests how instructors might handle various forms of audience response–or lack thereof.

Sample reviews from national conferences:
"Simply excellent! The first session I've come across that develops a very important instructor skill."
"Best session at the [ISPI] Conference. Excellent. Thanks! Rosie is a Master Facilitator."
"Excellent. This presentation paid for my trip here."