Best Practice

Classroom questioning: Taking the anxiety out of cold-calling

Cold-call questioning approaches can be effective, but we must be careful to reduce the anxiety that these techniques can create for some students. Debbie Tremble looks at some relevant research findings and offers practical pointers for ‘safe’ cold-calling
Image: Adobe Stock

Last year, when partaking in an NPQ, I was cold-called. This happened on numerous occasions, both during in person sessions and online. I’m a pretty confident person and I knew my stuff – I’d done all the reading for the sessions – but when I was cold-called I felt a wave of nerves and self-doubt.

Being spotlighted in this way was out of the ordinary for me and to make matters worse I gave the wrong answer! So now I had shame and embarrassment to add to my list of emotions in response to being cold-called. I felt frustrated, too, because I had known the answer to the other questions during that session but had not been asked!

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