Good question stems

Students answer questions to encourage deeper thinking and reflection.

Typical questions might be:

Why does …?

What if …?

How would you …?

Could you explain …?

What might …?

Why use it (students and staff)

  • Can be used to encourage peer activity 
  • Develops student self-regulation – what do students know about a subject and its relationship with other subjects 
  • Could form the basis for one minute paper activity 

When to use it

  • At start of class as revision 
  • At mid or end point to check on understanding 
  • As peer activity 
  • As an independent study task 

Digital tools that might be used

Synchronous : 

  • break-out rooms 
  • chat 
  • Teams meeting 
  • Mentimeter 
  • Shared whiteboard 


  • share document (for the entire group) 
  • whiteboard 
  • Menti

Speed of set up time 

5 minutes 


Depending on resources involved and planning the structure:

  • To define the activity 
  • To prepare questions 
  • To establish an etiquette with the students

This activity may become easier and more spontaneous if repeated throughout the modules/the sessions 

Other resources

  • Screen clock  or count down timer 
  • Note taking facilities for students 

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