How to ask an effective question on Loop

By Ben Barnett, CEO of Loop
Teacher giving lesson DOWNSAMPLE

Asking an effective question on Loop is important for one simple reason: the better the question the more useful the feedback you gather. We have worked with thousands of teachers who have integrated Loop into their practice, and continue to learn from them about how to best use Loop.

Based on their insights and our own research, we've compiled a series of tips to ensure you're asking the most effective questions on Loop.

 

An effective question on Loop is one that:

  • Enables students to fully, confidently and safely express their voice
  • Provides teachers with useful data to measure their impact and make any changes
  • Allows teachers to walk in the shoes of their students

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To ask an effective question on Loop, consider the following principles:

  1. Focus on what can change - not what has been: According to students, the best questions are those that allow for change in the classroom. In other words, questions focused on the future and not what has been. For example, “What topics should we revisit before the test?” and “What can I do to better support your learning?”.

  2. One question, one concept: To ensure the most reliable data, stick to only one concept per question. Otherwise, you risk your students being confused when they provide their responses. 

  3. Student-friendly language: Aim to use the simplest possible language to keep the platform accessible to all students. Consider the language capabilities of your students, particularly if English is not their native language, and avoid jargon and “Teacher talk” (a common suggestion from fellow teachers!). 

  4. Balance quantitative and qualitative questions: Quantitative questions provide a quick snapshot and receive the highest response rates because they are quick for students to complete. To gain the richest possible understanding of your students, be sure to follow-up with a qualitative question. 

  5. Qualitative questions should be open-ended: An open-ended question enables students to offer a full answer to a question, drawing upon their own knowledge and feelings. Open-ended questions typically begin with words such as "Why" and "How", or phrases such as "Tell me about…".

Here are a few other tips to gather useful data on Loop:

  1. Right question, right time - and no more: Asking 2-3 questions at any given time - and no more - will ensure that your students are focused on the questions at hand. 

  2. Allow time in class for you students to respond: By making time to understand your students, you are conveying their responses are important to you. Loop teachers report the highest response rates when they do this, and also have a full data set immediately after class. 

  3. Allow anonymous responses: Loop teachers report they receive more honest responses when they permit their students to choose whether they respond anonymously. Providing students with this choice also maximises the chances they will respond to your given question.

 
The above principles are general in nature. The more questions you ask on Loop, the more you will learn what works best for your cohort of your students.
 
If you receive lots of useful responses to a particular question, try to understand why the question was so effective. Was it the language you used? Did you tap into an area that is difficult for individuals to explore in a face-to-face situation? Was it asked at a timely moment? 
 
Finally, the best questions also prompt students to reflect on their development, encouraging them to take ownership for their own learning journey. So, when you gather responses on Loop, you might also consider how effective the question was in prompting your students to reflect on their own learning. 
 
Looking for more? Read further into our work on Student Voice.

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