Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Anne McMurray

Second Supervisor

Tony Hussey

Third Supervisor

Claudette Kelly


This study examined clinical teachers' use of questioning and the variations in their use of questioning as a teaching strategy. By using questioning and other appropriate teaching strategies, clinical teachers can facilitate the development of critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving in students. Effective use of questioning strategies involves asking low level and high level questions to facilitate recall of classroom knowledge and promote application of the knowledge to solve patient problems in varying clinical situations. Using a comparative descriptive design, this study used a convenience sample of 26 clinical teachers from one University School of Nursing to examine questioning during post-clinical conferences, which were audio taped. Questions asked by the clinical teachers at two post-clinical conference were identified and transcribed by the researcher. Using Craig and Page's (1981) framework, these questions were categorised by the researcher and an independent rater. Inter rater reliability for 850 of the questions asked was established at 85.6%. The remaining 143 questions were categorised following deliberation between the researcher and the independent rater. Data analysis was carried out using non parametric tests, which included Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed ranks test, Mann Whitney U test, Kruskal Wallis test, and Spearman's rho. The findings of the study indicate that, although there was variation in the number of questions asked, this group of clinical teachers asked more low level questions. There was a significant difference in the number of low level questions asked between the two post clinical conferences, but no significant difference in the number of high level questions asked. There was no significant difference between the number of low level and high level questions asked at post-clinical conferences held in three different semesters. There was also no significant relationship between clinical teachers' academic qualifications and the types and levels of questions asked (p> .05). There were variations in the relationship between the professional experience of clinical teachers and the levels of questions asked. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that clinical teachers are taught how to ask questions, particularly high level questions.

Included in

Nursing Commons