Reflective Questions In eLearning: Reflecting On “I Don't Know”

Reflective Questions In eLearning: Reflecting On “I Don't Know”
Summary: Asking a reflective question to which the answer can be “I don't know” is the quickest way to lose the engagement of an online learner! In this article I will share how to effectively ask reflective questions in eLearning to encourage thinking and increase learner engagement.

How To Ask Reflective Questions In eLearning  

“How many parents are unable to assist their child with this?” is a reflective question that can all too easily be dismissed with a shrug and “I don't know”.

“Consider which questions you might ask a parent to ascertain if they are able to assist their child with this” is a reflection that encourages thinking.

Reflection during the learning process is an important way to ensure that what you are learning has relevance to why you are learning it. Every lesson plan will have a reflection opportunity and, as a key part of learning, it is important to carefully consider how to ask reflective questions in eLearning.

When asking reflective questions face to face it is easy to quickly see the “tells” on the faces from those who don’t know or can’t think it through. Subsequent refinement of the question will help those people engage and be part of the group. An online learner is alone in front of the computer with all the distractions if offers; don't make it any easier for them to turn away.

Reflection does not just have to be sitting there thinking; it is OK to create a “doing” reflection:

“Discuss xyz with your colleagues and agree on a common approach”, “Observe the response and formulate a plan”, etc.

Reflect on this and take a look at any of the online learning you have created in the past year: Make a note of any reflective questions you have asked to which someone might answer “I don't know”, then change it for a more engaging question, and see if it makes a difference to your students.