The Critical Incident Questionnaire ~ an Instructional Strategy that I’d like to try!

Carol's version of the CIQ
Stephen Brookfield, in his book “The skillful Teacher: on Technique, trust and responsiveness in the Classroom introduces the reader to a number of strategies to help in assessing how their students are learning, feeling about learning, and perceiving their instructor’s efforts.

The Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ), which is customizable to whatever your intent, purpose, and learning environment needs’ are; is an anonymous 5 or 6 question form that can really support students’ self-reflection, metacognition, and helps you role model critical thinking as well. The CIQ was developed by John Flanagan and his colleagues in the mid 1900’s as a result of his research on how to best capture direct observations of human behaviour to help solve practical problems (1954). It has been researched several times over, resulting in the launch of its its 6th version (Keefer, 2009).

In his book “The Skillful Teacher”, Brookfield (2012) clearly defines skillful teaching as: 1. doing whatever helps students learn, 2. Adopting a critically reflective stance toward their practice, and 3. Striving to be constantly aware of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving their actions. While I always incorporate discussions into every teaching session and answer students’ questions as they arise, I now realize that I don’t always know how the students perceive my efforts, or how they are responding to the learning experiences in my class. I am particularly interested and excited to incorporate this instructional strategy into my teaching practice in the future!

I’ve tailored this version for use in a course within the dental hygiene education program. I envision using it weekly to collect anonymous feedback and will encourage students to use it to reflect on both their didactic classroom sessions as well as their community visits and service-learning visits that week.

This week I created a digital video using a fabulous program known as “PowToon” to share with you, my fellow educators. I’d be very interested in hearing what you think of it, and what you think of the CIQ instructional strategy. You can view my PowToon video here:

CIQ: Critical Incident Questionnaire by CP Yakiwchuk, February 5, 2015

Adams, K. (2001). The critical incident questionnaire: A critical reflective teaching tool. The
0nline Journal of Teaching and Learning in the CSU. Retrieved from

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Brookfield, S.D. (2012). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the
classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Flanagan, J.C. (1954, July). The critical incident report. Psychology Bulletin. 51(4), 1-33.
Retrieved from

Gilstrap, D.L., & Dupree, J. (2008, September). Assessing learning, critical reflection,
and quality educational outcomes: The critical incident questionnaire. College &
Research Libraries, 407-426. Retrieved from

International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction
(IBSTPI). (2003). Instructor competencies. 1-6. Retrieved from

Keefer, J. (2009). The critical incident questionnaire (CIQ): From research to practice and back
again. 177-182. Retrieved from


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