Recognising hinge-point questions

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Typically hinge-point questions:

  1. Have wrong answers that match the most common student misconceptions or alternative conceptions;
  2. Are difficult for a student to get the correct answer(s) with the wrong reasoning or knowledge;
  3. Are quick to answer (in less than two minutes, and ideally in less than one minute);
  4. Allow the teacher to realistically view and interpret all students’ responses in 30 seconds or less and so will often be in multiple choice format.

Here is a batch of 15 quite widely drawn questions. For each, decide if the question:

X - would make an effective hinge-point question;

Y - is more suited to stimulating constructive dialogue;

Z - is not well suited for use in either context.

When reaching your decision on each of the questions, be aware that the boundaries between the options are often not clear cut.

(Used in the Assessment for Learning in STEM Teaching free online course.)

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