Select Page

Sometimes the most difficult thing in the classroom is getting students to answer questions. Often they are afraid of being wrong, looking stupid, or they are anxious about what the instructor will say or do. Other times they *think* they know the answer but are not confident. One idea to try is instead of asking […]

Sometimes the most difficult thing in the classroom is getting students to answer questions. Often they are afraid of being wrong, looking stupid, or they are anxious about what the instructor will say or do. Other times they *think* they know the answer but are not confident. One idea to try is instead of asking for the CORRECT answer, ask for a good WRONG answer!  Kate Shoulders suggested this at a Wally Cordes Chair Discussion.  She said she often hears crickets and when she says “OK, what is a really good wrong answer?” Students have fun answering and the stress is lowered through humor– they are not afraid of being wrong, they know they are! Shoulders also noted that “by hearing what their wrong answers are, I get the opportunity to correct misconceptions by discussing why those answers are wrong, which leads them closer to understanding why another answer is right.”