What are Didactic Questions?

Didactic questioning offers the teacher a way to structure the learning process (McNeil & Wiles, 1990). Didactic questions tend to be convergent, factual, and often begin with "what," "where," "when," and "how." They can be effectively used to diagnose recall and comprehension skills, to draw on prior learning experiences, to determine the extent to which lesson objectives were achieved, to provide practice, and to aid retention of information or processes. Teachers should remember that didactic questions can be simplistic, can encourage guessing, and can discourage insightful answers or creativity. However, effectiveness of this method can be increased by the appropriate addition of "why" questions, and the occasional use of "what if" questions.

(Instructional Approaches: A Framework for Professional Practice, Saskatchewan Education, 1991)

What is its purpose?

Didactic and socratic questions are effective techniques that seek to draw the student into the lecture as a participant.



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