Learners questions, quality questioners and learning styles
Professor Mike Watts, University of Surrey, UK
This research is built upon a project established jointly between the University of Surrey, Roehampton and the University of Averio, Portugal. In a fairly formal educational system, undergraduate chemists are encouraged to ask questions of their tutors and lecturers. In many such circumstances, the asking of questions can be difficult, not to say nerve wracking experience, where there can be an implied challenge to authority and the possibility of vulnerability and embarrassment on the part of the questioner. In this research, questions have been encouraged through both verbal and several written modes (including through a computer intra-net).
The analysis of the numerous questions provided by participants has led to a taxonomy of questions in terms of their quality. A separate taxonomy has examined the interview data with a sample of the students and has explored their disposition to ask questions in their study of chemistry. Both taxonomies have clear links to learning styles. The discussion to this paper examines these links and speculates on further research.
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