Table 3

Blosser’s question types21 with illustrative examples

Overall question types
 RhetoricalQuestions used to emphasise a point or to reinforce an idea or statement E—It might depend on the intervention, mightn’t it? (a.1.1.45)
 ClosedQuestions used to check retention or to focus thinking on a particular point E—Why do you need a weight from a previous (time)? (a.2.3.382)
 OpenQuestions used to promote discussion or student interaction E—What information did we get out of that interaction? (a.1.2.108)
Specific question types
 Probing clarifyingAsks the student to rephrase or repeat her utterances to make the meaning clear S—So would you want to talk to them about the quality of milk. Um no or how much he is managing to get. … There’s not a difference in quality but there is a difference in how much baby takes in. or whether or not they are responding to the mother putting the breast in.
E—What do you mean there is not a difference in quality? (c.3.1.481–2)
 Probing critical awarenessAsks the student to provide some context for coming to a particular decision or making a particular statement E—um is there something that you’ve read that that is triggering…? (a.1.1.5)
E—What did the nurse say that gave you the sense that consent was there? (a.3.2.601)
 Probing refocusAsks the student to think deeper about the implications or connections that are inherent in their response E—What is a lot…What is a lot of oxygen? (a1.1.58)
S—so not very alert so drowsy and confused
S—uhh… it says 10–13 litres per minute on this
E—So what does that mean?
S—Not great.
E—Right. That could be an issue? (a.3.1.471–5)
 Probing promptsA string of questions that breaks down a problem in to smaller parts E—So who else in hospital might help in this situation?
S—Is there someone who might be able to give her breastfeeding support?
E—Yeah. What would that person be called?
E—Not in the hospital.
E—So they might be, they might be the nurse but they have a special name.
S—Lactation consultant?
E—ok! (c.2.3.383–91)
  Probing redirectRedirects the question to another student S—Can I ask what is Tetralogy of Fallots?
E—good idea.
E—Who knows what Tetralogy of Fallots is? (c.2.1.313–5)
  FactualRecall specific information that you have learnt previously. May be a single fact or a sequence of events in an order E—So what should she be eating?
S—She’s lactating. She needs more energy than she usually would if she’s not pregnant to produce breast milk. So she should be eating at least three meals a day (c.3.2.562–3)
 Higher-level problem-solvingRequires student to figure out answers, often generalising related facts in to meaningful patterns. May require judgement based on comparison of ideas E—So what would you ask if you could ask her again? (c.3.3.659)
E—What do we think? Team? Is it OK to talk to the nurse? Over…you know, especially over the top of the patient. What do you think? (a.1.1.31)
 AffectiveQuestions which elicit expressions of attitude, values or feelings E—So how did that go from your perspective? Did you ask and do everything you wanted to do? (c.3.3.638)
 StructuringQuestions related to the setting in learning is occurring. E—So can somebody read out so we can all hear what this scenario is for Kaeden (c.2.1.294)
E—So who’s gonna go next? Who hasn’t been before? (c.2.3.441)