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The Discussion Book by Stephen Preskill, Stephen D. Brookfield

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Chapter 12

Open-ended Questions

A variant on technique 11, Strategic Questioning, this exercise alerts people to a tendency to rely on closed questions and asks them to turn these into generative, open-ended questions.

Purposes

  • To alert participants to the frequency with which closed questions are posed
  • To provide practice in distinguishing between open-ended and closed questions
  • To help people learn how to turn closed questions into a more generative format
  • To change perceptions that open-ended questions are too loose and unfocused

How It Works

  • In small groups of four or five members, participants are presented with ten questions on a topic. Some are clearly open-ended, some clearly closed, and some are somewhat ambiguous.
  • Members ...

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