Effects of question difficulty and post-question wait-time on psychophysiological responses and post-treatment exam of agricultural education majors



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Educational research surrounding teaching methods and accepted practices is continually needed to improve teaching and teacher preparation programs. The revised Bloom’s taxonomy is often used by teachers in question development. The effectiveness of these questions is often dependent, not on the question alone, but also in how the question is presented. One component of implementing effective questioning is the use of wait-time. Wait-time was defined by M.B. Rowe (1969) as the amount of time a teacher waits for a student response after having posed a question. Additionally, Rowe (1974) suggested that teachers should utilize wait times between three and five seconds in length. The purpose of this study was to utilize a psychophysiological measure to provide evidence of the magnitude and duration of cognitive engagement and emotional response elicited after posing questions and to determine an appropriate amount of post-question wait-time needed by undergraduate agricultural students. Study results suggest that students were cognitively engaged for two to three seconds during the wait-time that followed a question and had an emotional response that lasted between one and three seconds. Additionally, students re-engaged cognitively after eight seconds of wait-time. The results of this study provide unique evidence in assisting teachers with effectively employing wait-time strategies.



Psychophysiology, Cognition, Wait-time, Heart rate, Skin conductance, Arousal, Valence, Bloom's, Teaching, Questioning, Emotion