Question Formulation Technique (QFT)

Also known as: questioning, jeopardy

Question Formulation Technique (QFT) is a step-by-step process designed to teach students how to ask questions. Educators present students with a focus for discussion and then students respond to the question focus using the following four rules:

1. Ask as many questions as you can.

2. Do not stop to judge, discuss, edit or answer any question.

3. Write down every question precisely as it is asked.

4. Turn every statement into a question.

After a set amount of time, students can then categorise questions as open or closed, prioritise questions, discuss next steps and reflect on what they have learned from the process.

 

Question Formulation Technique:

  • helps educators to support student curiosity, ideation and engagement
  • supports students' metacognitive skills and transference and recall of information
  • strengthens students' interpersonal skills, including empathy.

Question formulation technique

ICT templates

How to use with ICT

Most mobile devices are able to record audio, so rather than using a pen and paper for writing questions, students could record their questions. Doing this in small groups reinforces the need for one person to speak at a time. Once students are comfortable with the process, any collaborative document program can be used for group work. To use the technique with a whole class instead of small groups, use an online pin board such as Jamboard, or even a quick question prompt in an online learning platform.

Single computer

You can project the rules on the board along with a timer. Once you reach the end of the process and have prioritised questions, collect them in a single document to be printed and shared with the class.

External resources

Find out more resources
Title Link Description
The Right Question Institute The Right Question Institute A collection of classroom resources and teacher training for implementing the question formulation technique. There are templates available such as ready to go QFT Google forms.
Wonderopolis - Where the learning never ceases Wonderopolis A student centred website encouraging student questioning and wonder. Students are encouraged to submit questions and review and give feedback on others questions. There are a number of videos for students in Wonders with Charlie.
The right questions by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana The right questions A more detailed description of the question formulation technique, along with case studies for different classes and subjects.
Sparking joy in the classroom with student-formulated questions Teaching channel The first in a series of seven blogs with real classroom application of the QFT process.
The Question Formulation Technique for summative assessment (video) by the Right Question Institute The question formulation technique for summative assessment A demonstration of the technique being used with an 8th-grade social studies class for summative assessment (video).
My Ah-ha Moments with the question formulation technique by Connie Williams My Ah-ha Moments with the Question Formulation Technique A look at some different ways the technique can be used and how empowering it is for students to have it as a tool to use.
The question formulation technique in Action (video) by the Right Question Institute The question formulation technique in action A quick glimpse of the Question Formulation Technique in action in a 12th-grade humanities class in Boston (video).
Integrating the question formulation technique in PBL by Jennifer Pieratt, PhD Integrating the question formulation technique in PBL An overview of using the technique to launch and sustain a project-based learning approach in primary classes.
Asking effective questions  Asking effective questions An article on provoking student thinking/deepening conceptual understanding in the mathematics classroom.

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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.