The Question Formulation Technique


Dr. Rheba Vetter, associate professor in the School of Health & Wellness, has always looked for ways to engage her students with the content. The Question Formulation Technique (QFT), is one technique she has found that gives students an engaging classroom activity.  Rheba uses QFT in her Nutrition and Diet Behavior and the Lifetime Wellness courses that are traditionally lecture-based courses. She follows the textbooks closely which generally covers a chapter a week.  Instead of the usual lecture in the classroom, she has been using QFT to engage the students with content.

The QFT activity allows groups of students to brainstorm questions using a question focus, improve their questions, prioritize their list of questions, and then search for answers to the questions.  In the end, the groups share their priority questions and findings.  This technique provides students the opportunity to work together building even more questions based on the collaborative sharing of questions.  During the group exercise, they can delve deeper into the content as they search for answers to questions they asked themselves.  Through the sharing at the end of the process, students are teaching each other the content.

The Question Formulation Technique is a relatively new process that is sweeping the education world. Creators of the QFT, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana who are co-directors of the ‘The Right Question Institute’, wrote a book entitled ‘Make Just One Change; Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions’ as a result of their work, research and study over 20 years.

This book is an easy read and it explains in depth the process for the QFT, but it is a simple enough that you can learn about it today and use it successfully tomorrow.  Check it out as Rheba Vetter did and give it a try in your class.  If you would like a one-on-one explanation or a group presentation on the QFT contact the Learning and Teaching Center Powered by CITE at x-1532 or