The results of the present study indicate that faculty members place a high value on the questioning technique in medical classes but their actual question applications were insufficient to show an effect on improving learning. Of the participants of this study, 85
% were aware of the importance of the questioning technique, and perceived that the questioning technique had positive influences on the students’ participation in class, concentration in class, and understanding of the class contents, but only 34
% of classes, question was prepared in advance before class. Among 99 classes, 40 (40.4
%) did not use a questioning technique at all. Therefore, it is necessary to plan questions before class and use the questioning technique adequately in each class.
When faculty members employed the questioning technique, the actual wait time after questioning was 2.5 seconds, which was much different from their awareness (Figure ). Duell et al. [6
] examined the wait time in college classes and found that the mean faculty members’ wait time 1 was 2.25 seconds, which was similar to the actual wait time in the present study. This was desirable compared to the 0.9 seconds reported for elementary and secondary teachers [4
] in elementary school. On the other hand, one study reported that waiting for 3-5 seconds after questioning increases the mean length of the students’ answers, encourages voluntary and adequate answers, reduces the number of failed answers, promotes speculative answers, increases the students’ questions, and improves the students’ academic achievement [4
]. Extending the wait time after questioning to 10–15 seconds is considered desirable [13
] particularly because many questions posed in medical school demand high-level thinking [14
]. An additional questionnaire on the ideal number of questions per class and wait time was given to 100 students attending classes. The median ideal number of questions per class and median ideal wait time was 5 (1–20) and 12.5 (3–60) seconds, respectively. For these reasons, it is necessary to increase the wait time. Faculty members may be able to wait 10-15 seconds after questioning if they count the wait time after questioning or perform slow breathing three times. A lack of time was the most frequent reason for not questioning during classes and not waiting for a reply. As suggested by the explanation that questions provide students with clues to the contents and directions of learning [15
], faculties may expect indirect learning effects from questioning. Therefore, they need to plan a part of class time as questioning time.
Open questions extract students’ thinking by inducing expansive thought but closed questions are not as stimulating as open ones [16
], so open questions are recommended for questioning in class. Fortunately, in the present questionnaire survey, most of those who used questioning replied that they used open questions, and in reality, open questions were used frequently. The number of questions per class increased in the order of assistant professors, associate professors, and professors. This suggests that faculty members experienced in education spend a longer time in questions during their classes. Therefore, it is necessary to educate faculty of the importance of the questioning technique and the use of a questioning technique in class for those at the initial stages of their teaching career.
Amin and Khoo [13
] emphasized the questioning technique in medical education and mentioned that good questions during class help the students to participate actively in lectures, and provide an opportunity to students to express their thoughts. In addition, they explained the faculty members needed to consciously practice simple questioning techniques. Craig and Page’s study [17
] required teachers to complete a self-instructional module referring to the different levels of questioning, the importance of asking higher level questions and how to ask them. They found that the questioning ability can be improved when the teachers were taught about the levels of questioning and the importance of higher level questions.
There were some limitations to this study. First, this study was limited to some classes during a semester of a medical school and to faculty members who gave their consent to video recording, so the results cannot be generalized. Second, this study divided the total class time of a class into three parts, that is, the first 20
%, middle 60
%, and last 20
%. In general, a class is divided into three stages, namely, introduction, development and conclusion, but most medical school classes do not have such stages because each class should cover a large volume of contents. Therefore, although the first 20
% of the total class time may be the early part, it may not be exactly the introductory stage of the class. Third, this study analyzed only wait time 1 after questioning until students answered the question using video records. Previous studies reported that wait time 2 after students have finished answering a question until the faculty resumed the class or asked another question is important for enhancing the effect of the questioning technique [5
]. Fourth, each question was not classified into categories according to the purpose in the present study. Rhetorical questions can be used for good or bad purposes. There was also a limitation with the possible underestimation of the wait time. On the other hand, more than half of the participants mentioned a lack of time as the only reason for waiting after questioning. Finally, as this study focused on questioning among the faculty members’ linguistic response during classes, it did not examine the interaction between faculty members and students. Further research considering wait time 2 and the cognitive level of the questions in medical class will be needed to extend our findings. In addition, it will be also necessary to examine the impact of faculty development programs on the effective questioning skills of medical educators.