Laura Taylor

Primary Teacher

Ravenswood Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Random Questioning Techniques are Used Within the Classroom?


As a probationer, assessment is essential for tracking and monitoring the progress of children. Teachers assess constantly as part of their daily learning and teaching in order to adapt and plan progressive lessons for children (Curriculum for Excellence, 2011) which can be conducted by questioning techniques. Research shows that teaching is more effective when it assesses and uses prior learning so that the teaching is adapted to meet the needs of students (Black & William, 1998). However, within some classes it is evident that some children become over-reliant on their peers being the ones to answer questions or that the number of children responding to questions is low as stated by Williams in his Assessment for Learning work (YouTube, 2014). With questioning being an effective indicator of assessment it is essential to ensure all children are contributing to classroom learning.

Dylan Williams (2015) states that if the aim of questioning is to find out what the children really know then it makes little sense to select a respondent from the volunteers as only children who are confident with their answer will raise their hand. Therefore Williams (2015) argues that it should be the teacher who selects the children to respond at random.

Dylan Williams (2009) suggests that one technique for increasing student engagement during teaching and learning is using the questioning technique of putting student’s names on lollipop sticks. By using this technique, children will be given individual accountability for their own learning. The curricular focus will be maths with the hope that children will become more engaged during teaching time and that they will become more confident to answer questions.


The aims of the professional enquiry are:

  • To establish whether using a random questioning technique encouraged more children to become more engaged.
  • Distinguish if lollipop sticks contributed to children becoming more confident to answer questions.
Download Practitioner Enquiry