Hinge Questions on the iPad

Shared by Jonathan White

A while back, we were visited by Harry Fletcher-Wood, who spoke both to a gathering of NQTs at G&L and to a group of interested G&L staff. Harry is a teacher and educational researcher from the Institute for Education, where he is leads a program for teacher educators. Harry keeps a very useful blog at https://improvingteaching.co.uk/, where you can find articles on research- and congnitive science-informed teaching, including detailed information about the topic he discussed with us: Hinge Questions.

Hinge questions are multiple-choice questions that have been carefully crafted in such a way that each wrong answer highlights a particular, popular misconception about the topic. Teachers can use these questions at an inflection point in the lesson, e.g. when about to move on to a new part of the topic, to determine if students have kept up and understood, or if a particular misconception needs to be explored and dispelled in greater detail. Some useful further detail on hinge questions can be found here:

So, where do iPads fit into this you may ask? One of the key elements of successfully using hinge questions is to get all students to answer, and to all do so simultaneously so as to be unable to copy each other's answers. While this can be achieved in an analog way by e.g. emulating the "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game, the iPads offer several easy assessment apps built for this purpose. With a little preparation time (most of which you will spend crafting the best distractors for your question, rather than fiddling with things technical), any of the following could be used:

  • Socrative
  • Nearpod
  • Google Forms
  • Kahoot!
  • Quizlet Live

If you'd like to learn more about hinge questions, please consult Harry's "Hinge Question Hub" at https://improvingteaching.co.uk/hinge-questions-hub/.