Thursday, July 31, 2008


The responses to the July’s Question, “When Learners get it Wrong: Handling Incorrect Responses without Intimidating the Learner Discussion” were great examples of the fact that there really isn’t one right way to address any teaching question. The following are just a few “pearls” from the list.

  • It is important to build a safe learning environment so that learners are willing to ask and answer questions.

  • If the learner is more advanced and seems certain of an incorrect fact, ask a follow-up question concerning their source. If no one has supporting evidence send the individual or group out to find the correct response.

  • Look for a “kernel of truth” in the response and work from there.
  • For early learners, ask questions in a form that doesn’t require “one right answer”.
  • When asking questions, know the difference between “wrong” and “not my way” and respond accordingly.
  • Try to avoid “what am I thinking” questions
  • Respectfully correct the response and “move on”

What our faculty “bloggers” were telling us on this issue is that their solutions depend on the context. In this case “time” was sometimes a factor. Another factor was “importance of the answer to “good practice”. Another factor was the existing relationship you have with the learner group. Teaching, like medicine and to a lesser degree science, is an "it depends" profession!

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