Educators - Help us with this section!  Contact LFS with links to good questions!


Why Good Questions? - by LFS

1. In January 2006, Tim Fahlberg first showed me Dr. Maria Terrell's "Good Questions for Calculus". This was part of Cornell University Mathematics Department's GoodQuestions Project. These questions do not seem to be anything special; at first they appear to be standard test questions. But that is exactly the point - they are standard test questions that are "good" and every educator knows what makes a question "good"! A good question stimulates thinking, gets to the heart of what is (not) understood and results in quality discussions that further learning and the enjoyment of learning mathematics.


Note by TRF (Tim Fahlberg).  Linda and a team of her students converted the 146 "Good Questions for Calculus" to Examview.  They can be used on paper, online, or with CPS clickers.  These questions are available here:  Good Questions for Calculus.


2. Then in summer 2006, Tim showed me a paper - "The Learning Benefits of Questions" - see #16 on CPS Research on the eInstruction wiki - by Will Thalheimer. This guy really knows his stuff and it is practical and not just 'educational research blah-blah' so we can use it - just try taking the quiz. I took it and didn't do that well for all my thinking I am such a good teacher, but I learned so much from the feedback that I didn't mind (so much) the blows to my ego. Dr.Thalheimer talks about the value of good questions, what makes good questions, when and how to ask them and when and how to provide feedback.


3. Finally, I remember reading that experienced math teachers get better results (e.g.) and thinking "It's because we have tried and tested so many methods and finally found a few that work ...".  But, I think it is also that we have memorized our good guestions and ask them and not the questions in the textbook-of-the-year.


So I started looking around on the Internet for collections of "good questions". I found collections of good teaching methods (screencasts needed!) but no collections of good questions. Hence this section here on math247.


Please contribute your thoughts, suggestions and - of course - your good guestions! LFS


Page last modified on January 25, 2009, at 12:45 AM