What are probing questions (dyadic interactions)

What Are Probing Questions?

Probing Questions Ask More Information or Clarification

Probing questions are, in essence, followup questions that ask for additional information, request the person expand on what she has said, or ask the person to go deeper. Using probing questions can be helpful in increasing understanding, since most people need to be encouraged to go beyond what they have said to help someone understand their deeper feelings, and opinions.

They indicate interest and a desire to understand.

Probing questions can be non-directive (eg. “Go on”, or “Could you clarify that?”, or they can be more directive and specific as below:

Person A: I live in New York

Person B: Ah. Do you live in Brooklyn, or The Bronx?

Remember that probing questions are guided by and chosen based on what the OTHER person has said. They show that you are paying attention.

Probing questions are very valuable tools for teachers, facilitators and instructors, and in fact, they have been studied extensively as tools to improve classroom learning, and encourage students to think more deeply about what is being learned.

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