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The Critical Incident Questionnaire: A Critical Reflective Teaching Tool

Katherine L. Adams

California State University, Fresno

The Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ), developed by Stephen Brookfield (1995), is one of many tools available to teachers across the disciplines who proactively incorporate formative assessment into their courses. CIQs are comprised of five open-ended questions that ask learners about the most engaging and distancing moments, the most affirming and confusing actions, and the most surprising moments in the classroom. Teachers can use CIQs to provide repeated, anonymous opportunities for learners to reflect on these regular learnings or "critical incidents" (Brookfield, 1995).

In this report I will discuss the pedagogical perspective served by the CIQ, the basic philosophy behind its useits characteristics, and its benefits. My comments about this tool are based on my own experiences with it in two Spring 2000 public communication courses taught in the California State University, Fresno Smittcamp Honors College and on my understanding of its use by Stephen Brookfield (1995).

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Posted October 17, 2001

All material appearing in this journal is subject to applicable copyright laws.
Publication in this journal in no way indicates the endorsement of the content by the California State University, the Institute for Teaching and Learning, or the Exchanges Editorial Board.
©2001 by Katherine L. Adams

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