Another way of creating effective self-study questions is to divide questions into 4 levels. The levels move from more surface questions, towards deeper, more analytical questions. To be sure that your self-study questions probe deep enough into your course content, you’ll want to include questions from each level in your review.
4 Levels of Questioning
Summarizing / Definitions / Fact Questions
|These questions give you the vocabulary and scope of the subject matter.|
|What is the definition of…?|
|What is an example of…?|
Analysis / Interpretation Questions
|Here, you are looking for the context and impact, supported by evidence.|
|What are the reasons for…?|
|What are types of…?|
|How does the process occur?|
|What are my own examples of…|
|What causes …to occur?|
|What results when…occurs?|
|What is the relationship between…and…?|
|How is…similar to/different from…?|
|How does… affect or apply to…?|
|What conclusions can be drawn from…information?|
|What is (are) the problem(s), conflict(s), issue(s)?|
|What are possible solutions/resolutions to these problems, conflicts, issues?|
|What is the main argument or thesis of an author?|
|How is this argument developed?|
|What evidence, proof, support is offered?|
|What are other theories, arguments from other authors?|
Hypothesis / Prediction Questions
|These questions help you to develop hypothesis and look at possible outcomes.|
|If…occurs, then what would happen?|
|If…changed, then what would change?|
|What does theory x predict will happen?|
|What hypothesis or theory explains this data or given information?|
Critical Analysis / Evaluation / Opinion Questions
|Use these questions to analyze differentiate, and make choices about the subject in context and with supporting evidence.
|Correct or incorrect? Why?|
|Effective or ineffective? Why?|
|Relevant or irrelevant? Why?|
|Logical or illogical? Why?|
|Applicable or not applicable? Why?|
|Proven or not proven? Why?|
|Ethical or unethical? Why|
|What are the advantages or disadvantages of…? Why?|
|What is the best solution to the problem, conflict, issue?|
|Why is it the best?|
|What should or should not happen? Why?|
|Do I agree or disagree? Why?|
|What is my opinion? What is my support for my opinion?|
How You Use These Questions
Take any concept or statement, put one of these question “keys” in front of it, put a question mark at the end, and you have your question.
Now go look for an answer.
- Choose one chapter you’re currently studying.
- Create as many questions as possible – include questions from each of the 4 levels.
- Use the 4 levels to ensure that your questions are varied and deep.
- Adapted from: Salustri, F. (2015). Four levels of questions. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from http://deseng.ryerson.ca/dokuwiki/design:four_levels_of_questions. Used with permission. ↵
- McMaster University. (2005). What questions engage students? Retrieved April 23, 2018, from http://cll.mcmaster.ca/resources/pdf/what_questions_engage_students.pdf ↵