Questioning Techniques
USSF Referee Instructor Course
United States Soccer Federation
Questioning Techniques
Lesson Set
Think about previous classes that you’ve
Were questions asked by the students?
And were responses given?
Did the instructor ask questions and seek
responses? A coincidence?
Questioning Techniques
Lesson Set
Why question? It’s an tool to help students
When questions are posed by the student,
it’s important that you respond to these
questions …. your response should have a
positive effect on the group’s learning.
Questioning Techniques
Lesson Objective
At the end of this lesson the you will list:
• The purpose of a question
• Three techniques for posing specific
questions to trainees.
Questioning Techniques
Purpose of a Question
• Test (Check for understanding)
• Teach (Help student to learn/retention)
• Achieve Activity (Promotes active
• Apply Mental Pressure (Promotes higher
level thinking skills)
Questioning Techniques
During the Lesson
Asking questions during a lesson is most
effective and most needed for retention
• Participation
• Clarification
• Progress
• Adjust
• Time Wasted
• Interest Lost
• Deviation
Questioning Techniques
Prompts Active Participation which helps retention.
Clarification …. Check for understanding . A student
who does not understand a point will silently dwell on
it while you’re going ahead. In effect you have lost
him for the balance of the lesson.
You can gage how effective your teaching is. If you
ask carefully, you can determine if you are “getting
across”, i.e. making Progress.
You can Adjust to emphasize key points. Allows you
to make sure you get across the information you
Questioning Techniques
Time may be lost waiting for the slow
answer/reaction. A tight time schedule does not
allow for too much questioning.
Focus is on one individual …. unless question is of
general interest, other students may be
distracted or loose concentration on the subject.
Question can sometimes take you off track of
the topic … you must be careful in how and what
you say. This may also upset the way you plan to
develop the presentation.
Questioning Techniques
• You ask
• Plan carefully
• Use sparingly
• Control
Questioning Techniques
Questions can enhance or hinder learning
• You Ask …. Avoid spontaneous questions …. Be prepared with
pre-determined questions that anticipate problems in the lesson
plan. You decide what to emphasize, reinforce, point out … based
on past experiences, perceived difficulties with subject matter,
knowledge level of students, etc.
• Plan Carefully to emphasize. Make sure question is formulated at
thinking level that you want …. Don’t just come up with haphazard
questions. Decide at what point a question needs to be asked to
liven up, emphasize. Ask question in easily an stated manner to
the whole group.
Questioning Techniques
• Use Sparingly ….. Overuse can detract from the learning …. Too
many questions can cause learners to become defensive and create
a high level of tension, which then becomes a negative learning
atmosphere. It is only one technique. You limit your chances of
succeeding with all students, since they each learn in a different
combination of ways.
• Control the questioning … questions can be used to create a
certain tension level intended to keep students attentive. Make sure
you keep any discussion under control so that the students are not
thrown off the track.
Questioning Techniques
Qualities of a Good Question
• Must be on the subject matter
• There must be one point only
• Must be clear
• Only one correct answer
• Familiar language to student
• Use good grammar
• Never suggest the answer in the question
Questioning Techniques
Qualities of a Good Question
Avoid questions with yes/no answers
Ask questions that are open-ended
Limit questions that rely completely on memory
Use correct terminology and vocabulary that
student’s understand, taking into account any
cultural differences.
• Avoid questions that contain the answer, i.e.
avoid answering your own questions
Questioning Techniques
APPLE Principle
Questioning Techniques
Ask The Group … first pose the question
Pause …. This allows students time to think of the answer.
Wait 5-15 seconds, then …
Pick …. Call on a specific student, do not accept “hands up” …
avoid calling on same one or two students who are always
anxious to answer.
Listen … for completeness of answer … don’t jump in too early.
Evaluate … Never say just “yes” or “no” …… don’t humiliate or
embarrass a student, let them down easy … “are you sure?”
Reinforce correct answers. Always tell the student when they
are incorrect, then explain the correct answer.
Questioning Techniques
How to Pose a Question
• Ask The Group
• Ask “W” Questions
• Ask “Suppose” Questions
• Ask for Depth
• Be Precise
• Get Agreements
• Avoid Grilling
Questioning Techniques
Ask The Group
Many students feel apprehensive if they know an
instructor is going to ask them a question. They
feel relieved when they know a question is going
to be posed to someone else.
The typical reaction when posed to someone else
is to stop thinking about the answer, relying on that
other student to supply the correct information.
Don’t use round-robin questioning
Questioning Techniques
Ask The Group
One of your objectives should be to get every
student thinking about the answer to the question.
Don’t call on student to respond to question prior to
the question being asked.
Avoid directing question to a student for disciplinary
Avoid answering your own questions
Questioning Techniques
Ask “W” Questions
Posing questions with words:
These are the key words that will improve your
questions and help you to secure facts,
information and a specific response.
Questioning Techniques
Ask “Suppose” Questions
• These questions help to amplify and reinforce a
• They can be used to bring up a new or added
• They’re also useful when you need to break a
Questioning Techniques
Ask For Depth
Asking the student for examples, explanations,
references, reasoning behind thinking will
reinforce the student’s learning.
Follow up a student response with “Tell me more”
… “ What makes you say that?”
Questioning Techniques
Be Precise
• Make sure question is understood.
• You need to frame the question carefully
• If there are several key factors in the question,
it helps to write it out for the students to “see”
as well as “hear”.
Questioning Techniques
Get Agreements
One way is to offer several solutions in the form
of a question to the group.
Another way is to confirm an answer by asking
others, in turn, whether or not they agree.
Always acknowledge the right answer and
reinforce correct responses.
Questioning Techniques
Avoid Grilling
• Ask questions in a positive manner, it helps the
student to think, to reinforce, to improve
attention and retention.
• Be helpful …. be positive even with a wrong
answer or no answer … suggest answer yourself,
hint or prompt student.
• Avoid embarrassing student by continued
questioning. Switch to another student.
• Berating one student also negatively affects
other students.
Questioning Techniques
Is like teaching a pig to sing:
It frustrates you
it annoys the pig!
Questioning Techniques
A Good Question Is
• Fully Understood by the Class
• Contains No Ambiguity
• Stimulates Thought
• Discourages Guessing
It is important to use correct terms and language.
Poorly formed questions and incorrect terminology
can often do more harm than good.
Questioning Techniques
Good Questioning Technique Encourages
• Class Participation
• Keeps Class Alert
• Promotes Retention
Questioning can create a certain level of
tension …. but the right question can
relieve tension as well.
Questioning Techniques
Lesson Assignment
Write out the following and bring to the inclass clinic sessions:
 An explanation of the purpose of a
 The (3) techniques for posing specific
questions to students and an example for
 The (4) qualities of a good question with an
example of each.
Questioning Techniques
USSF Referee Instructor Course
United States Soccer Federation

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