For this blog assignment, I read a few of the assigned materials and then I was still curious about techniques of questioning in the classroom. I was able to find a really interesting page titled Types of Questions which is an excerpt from the book Concept-based curriculum and instruction for the thinking classroom written by H.L. Erickson. I found this page interesting because it breaks down the types of questions we need to ask as teachers. The five question types are factual, convergent, divergent, evaluative, and combinations.
Factual questions bring forward simple straight forward answers that are based on facts. These types of questions are the lowest level of cognitive or affective processes, and the answers are right or wrong based on the factual information. Asking for specific details about a problem or story would be an example of factual questions.
Convergent questions bring answers that are not as defined as factual questions but have a small range of acceptable answers. Convergent questions have different cognition levels; these include comprehension, analysis, and application. The answers to these questions could also be influenced by what the student already knows or personal opinion. Broad questions that include reflections would be an example of a convergent question.
Divergent questions have a much wider range of answers because these questions require students to analyze, synthesize and evaluate a knowledge base to come to a conclusion. The answers to this type of question are often varied and include multiple scenarios. The answers to divergent questions are also based on possibility and probability to the information given. These questions are meant to encourage creativity, imagination and investigation. An example of a divergent question would be what if questions, where you question a variable in the problem or story.
Evaluative questions are meant to test the high levels of cognition by combining logic, affective thinking and comparisons. The answers are also not specific, and are viewed by multiple perspectives. An example of this kind of question would be a compare and contrast question.
Combination questions are a mix of the four other types of questions. An example of a combination would be asking your students to give specific details while also thinking about and discussing what could have change if a certain variable was different. This example combined factual and divergent questioning.
I found this page very useful in that it broke down the types of questions, and also gave an example question for each type. This page would make a very good source for someone who was not sure what type of questions they are asking. Also this site could be used to decide what type of questions you should be asking when you are looking for a specific answer.