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Discussion Question

When trying to gauge someone’s level of understanding, breaking with traditional forms of assessment can allow for a more accurate picture. Often, the use of discussion questions allows people to demonstrate their level of knowledge in a way that is more reflective of their true abilities; being able to discuss a topic at length shows a greater depth of thought and understanding than answer some objective questions, as these often focus more on memorization than comprehension. owever, creating discussion questions that allow for in-depth analysis and critical thinking is something that takes a bit of skill.

Questions that require a yes or no answer often end quickly; it is difficult to discuss something when the question itself can be answered with just one word. Similarly, questions that lead a person to think a certain way can color the way they answer; a question that has a position inherent in its wording might encourage someone to answer with what they think a person wants to hear, rather than how they themselves feel. Instead, discussion questions should encourage people to read between the lines, to find meaning where it might not be immediately discernible. Comparing and contrasting topics, for example, encourages a person to think in greater depth than they might traditionally; the same can be said for considering the cause and effect of various factors at play. Discussion QuestionsAsking a person to explain something in their own words also requires them to demonstrate that they fully understand the topic, something that might not be achieved with a traditional form of assessment.


The purpose of an assignment of discussion questions is to share with your fellow students a current, peer-reviewed article on a topic or issue of your choice. Usually, you will provide the class with an electronic version of the article, a one-page summary of the article, and formulate three discussion questions. In addition, you will be responsible for encouraging discussion and facilitating any discussions prompted by your posted questions. The summary should include a title page and follow the APA Manual 6th Ed. scholarly writing guidelines.

Depth of Reflection:

  • Provided a current, peer-reviewed article of an identified, course-related issue
    • Illustrated an understanding of the various issues discussed in the course
    • Provided a one-page summary of the article
    • Assignment was written in a scholarly format with title page, appropriate sentences, paragraphs, and headings
    • Adhered to APA Manual 6th Ed. scholarly writing guidelines   
  • Facilitation of Discussion Board:
    • Provided three questions to stimulate discussion
    • Worked to keep discussion in forum on target and constructive
    • Provided comments that were clear, concise, and extended discussion
    • If limited discussion, made attempts to encourage discussion
    • Demonstrated flexibility in responding to learning needs of class within the discussion

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