Question quadrant

Also known as: question sort

Question quadrant is a thinking tool to support students in eliciting and generating meaningful and purposeful questions to guide learning. Open and closed questions lie along one axis, while literal and inferential/applied questions lie along the other.

Question quadrant:

  • involves educators supporting students to initially identify where questions lie within the grid and then progressing to generating their own questions 
  • supports students to develop their questioning skills and encourages them to ask different types of questions
  • was developed relatively recently by Phillip Cam (2006).

Question quadrant

ICT templates

Learning activity templates

Office 365

Google G Suite


Make sure you are logged into your Microsoft account or Google account before accessing these templates. For more support refer to Getting started with technology

How to use with ICT

Teachers share a list of questions and quadrant template, allowing students to sort questions into the correct quadrant. Alternatively, the teacher supports students to generate their own questions.

Single Computer

Project the template, supporting students to generate questions for each quadrant.

External resources

Find out more resources
Title Link Description
Question sorts Question sorts Question sorts suppose classifying questions within a quadrant to guide inquiry and deepen understanding.
The question quadrant: A stimulus for a negotiated curriculum by Rosie Scholl The question quadrant Rosie Scholl theorises about curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, showing how the Question Quadrant can be used as the central integrating device for negotiating curriculum and assessment with students.
Creating questions by James Nottingham Creating questions James Nottingham, a primary teacher from NSW, shares how he uses the question quadrant within an inquiry circle.
The question quadrant – Idea into practice by Dave Secomb The question quadrant – Idea into practice Using the Question Quadrant as a way to develop students' inquiry skills, with an example using the text, ‘Me and You’, by Anthony Brown.
What is the question quadrant? By North Lakes School What is the question quadrant? James Nottingham from North Lakes School explains how the Question Quadrant can be used to support in-depth discussion. The site has PDF activity templates, displays and examples.


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Personalised learning

Disability, Learning and Support

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the diversity of your learners. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all. For UDL guidelines, information and additional materials, visit the CAST website.

Many students require technology as an adjustment to support their access to learning. Adjustments (NESA) are actions taken that enable a student with disability and additional learning needs to access syllabus outcomes and content on the same basis as their peers. Enrol in the Personalised learning with technology online course to help you make more informed decisions regarding technology.


For a range of simple, how-to videos visit the Assistive Technology page on the Disability, Learning and Support website. Resources are organised into four sections; Literacy and Learning, Vision, Hearing, Physical and Motor Skills.


High potential and gifted learning and support

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the full range of abilities of all learners. High potential and gifted learners may require additional adjustments and deliberate talent development.  These strategies include differentiation, grouping, enrichment and advanced learning pathways so students can be engaged, grow and achieve their personal best.


Assessing and identifying high potential and gifted learners will help teachers decide which students may benefit from extension and additional challenge. Effective strategies and contributors to achievement for high potential and gifted learners helps teachers to identify and target areas for growth and improvement. School leaders can access the Evaluation and Planning Tool to support strategic improvement planning.


Recognising the diversity of high potential and gifted students represented in classrooms across 4 domains of potential can be explored further by accessing illustrations of practice.


For further support and advice about how to tailor learning for high potential and gifted students from all backgrounds, visit the High Potential and Gifted Education web section, High Potential and Gifted Education Policy or attend one of the professional learning courses on offer.