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Question Development Process
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Guide to Good Practices for Oral Examinations - index
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Questioning Process


DOE-HDBK-1080-97
Trick questions with hidden meanings should never be used. The examiner who
repetitively questions many trainees on the same familiar material may tend to think that
the fundamental, straightforward approach is too simple. This may lead the examiners to
develop clever or unusual (trick) questions. A trainee exposed to this type of questioning
technique may be inclined to search for hidden meanings in subsequent straightforward
questions. This tendency may adversely affect the trainee's ability to express a true level
of understanding.
Questions and answers for the oral examination portion of OJT evaluations should be
prepared in advance during the development of the job performance measure (JPM) or
other instrument used to evaluate OJT. The primary and planned follow-up questions and
answers should be prepared in advance. Any follow-up questions, generated by something
the trainee said, should be written down along with the answer on the JPM at the time
they are asked. Any follow-up question should be tied directly to their primary question.
5.1.4
Question Types
The examiner has the option of asking several different types of questions during an oral
examination. The two most common types of questions are open-ended and closed-ended.
The open-ended question places the burden of conversation on the trainee. The trainee
brings all known information together to answer the question. Examples of open-ended
questions are:
Example 1.
What are the reasons for starting the recirculation pump with the
discharge valve closed rather than open?
Example 2.
Why does the safety system actuate at that pressure?
Closed-ended questions are used to elicit specific answers. They should be worded so they
are not answered as "yes" or "no," but with an answer that demonstrates knowledge of
the component, system, procedure, etc. An example of the yes/no question is: Does the
pump have a white "POWER ON" light? Example 3 is the preferred method of asking this
question.
Example 3.
What indications does the main control panel operator have that the
recirculation pump motor controller is energized?
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