*Context*: You are designing an activity or assignment with questions for students to answer.

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*Problem & Forces:*** Questions can guide students in many ways, and it can be difficult to design the right set of questions.** If there are too many questions, students may get discouraged; if there are too few, students may miss key connections. If questions are easy, students gain confidence but might get careless; if questions are difficult, students might struggle and get discouraged. Students often want the “correct answers”, but also need to consider open-ended questions to **Climb Blooms Taxonomy**. With a mix of easy, hard, closed, and open questions, students may struggle to allocate the right time and effort to each question.

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*Solution & Consequences:* **Therefore, use a combination of DCV (Directed, Convergent, Divergent) questions.** *Directed questions* are based on prior knowledge or provided information and are rarely difficult to answer. *Convergent questions* require more effort, but most students or teams will reach the same answer, or one of a few answers. *Divergent questions* also require more effort, but students and teams will often reach very different answers and explore broader issues. Help students identify the effort and sort of answer needed with cues such as wording (e.g. “recall”, “look up”, “jot down”, “discuss and agree”), the space for an answer (e.g. cell in a table, blank line to fill in, or half a page) or a suggested amount of time (e.g. 1 min, 5 min).

*Discussion*: DCV Questions are related to but distinct from the phases in **EIA (Explore, Invent, Apply) Learning Cycles**. *Exploration* questions are often *directed* with a **Simple Answer**, but may be *convergent* or even *divergent*; *invention* questions are often, but not always, *convergent*; and *application* questions are usually either *convergent* or *divergent, ***Open Ended Questions**. *Directed* and *convergent* questions are useful for **Misconception Assessment**; *convergent* and *divergent* questions are useful to **Challenge Understanding**.

*Examples*: Each POGIL activity model pattern contains sample **DCV (Directed, Convergent, Divergent) Questions**.

A sample activity uses a Hi-Lo number guessing game to introduce concepts in algorithm analysis. It begins with *directed* questions to ensure that students understand the rules, such as “How many different responses can player A give?” and “How does the game end?” Defining possible strategies seems *divergent*, but is usually *convergent*, since most teams reach a similar set of strategies. Describing other examples of the speed-complexity tradeoff is *divergent*. Finding the maximum and average number of guesses for each strategy is *convergent*, since it requires effort but there is a single correct answer.

*Author*: Clif Kussmaul

*Publication*: C Kussmaul. 2016. Patterns in classroom activities for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). *HILLSIDE Proc. of Conf. on Pattern Lang. of Prog. *23 (October 2016).