Thursday, August 30, 2007

Should I Ask the Question? Question & Comment Evaluation Chart for Students

While in the classroom have you ever thought to yourself:
  1. Should I ask this question?
  2. I shouldn't have asked that question.
  3. I wish that person would stop asking questions/making comments and dominating class discussion.
  4. I think I have something good to add to this discussion, but I'm not sure if I should say anything.
  5. I should've said something.
  6. I know that person has something good to say, but why won't he/she say it?
  7. I'm lonely.

The folks at Christians for Better Classrooms have provided all students around the world a Question & Comment Evaluation Chart to help us answer the inner-monologue many, if not all, of us reherse each time we are in the classroom. Enjoy.


Chris Gates said...

This should be posted on every desk in every class at Southwestern. : )

jrothra said...

Interesting and lighthearted. However, I'm going to break the flow chart's rules and comment here. :)

If students followed this chart accurately, 99% of questions and class discussion (including discussions sought by the profs) will end. There will always be 1% because they are worthy of asking.

Further, 18% of all questions that are asked will wait until after class, assuming the student has the time to hang around while the horde of students crowd the front and as long as the prof isn't late for chapel (heaven forbid he or she is late to chapel).

Consider also, that this chart requires students to both possess and use ESP in order to know what each student in the class is thinking. This will help them know if others are interested in the question's topic or not of if they are thinking of asking it themselves (if they are, the chart says stay silent). Of course if the students are wise, they will have on their thinking caps which have been proven in studies done by leading universities to block ESP waves (kinda like the helmet of Magneto blocking Dr. X in the movie X-Men). Therefore, those students using ESP will read the minds of those unwise students who don't care about the class anyway. Also with ESP, the chart asks "Is it likely that your question will be answered in the course of the lecture?" If so, don't ask the question. However, if the student had such a knowledge of the future words that will be spoken by the prof, then why attend the lecture? The student already knows what will be said, so just sleep in at home and not in the classroom (besides, beds are far more comfy to sleep in, trust me, I know).

Another problem is this chart requires students to follow directions in order to follow the chart. Considering that schools are full of students who fail to follow the rules (cell phones left on, hats worn in class, speeding down the highway, to name a few), it seems illogical to ask them to follow the flow chart.

And on a final note, the chart emphasizes the question/comment should be made in one sentence. But it doesn't specify how long a sentence it should be. SWBTS students in the MDiv taught to read Greek and Hebrew. So, to hold true to those languages which have no punctuation in the originals, then the sentences become very long. So, when asking your question, just use semicolons and a LOT of commas. If Paul could use extremely long sentences to make a point, then we can too, right?


GUNNY said...

My guiding principle in seminary class was always "It's better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

That's perhaps a modernized James 1:19, but it's done me well ... except this particular violation!

jrothra said...

You are correct. Many people make a comment and reveal their foolishness. When it comes to questions, though, that is different. I believe there are two types of people: those who ask and learn, those who never ask and remain ignorant.

Now, let me clarify. That does not mean all questions should be asked in class, many can and should wait until after class or via email or by making an appointment with the prof. But, if you have a question, ask it. :)

Anonymous said...

that's funny...good stuff...there are more than a few times in my life I wish I had that chart!

Josh Earls said...

see Prov. 17:28

i saw it on a church sign once:

"you never see a fish on the wall with its mouth closed"

Eric said...

Absolutely INCREDiBLE!!!!

Are you really trying to teach children to stifle their curiosity and their interactions with their teachers?

As a teacher, I work very hard to get my students to interact with me and the material being taught. The more involved the students are the better they learn.

I think education is best left to schools than flowcharts.