Now That’s a Good Question!  How to Promote Cognitive Rigor

Through Classroom Questioning

Learning FIRST Pre-Institute Full Day Workshop

July 31, 2018 |  Fond du Lac, Wisconsin


Erik M. Francis

Erik M. Francis is an author, educator, and speaker who specializes in teaching and learning that promotes cognitive rigor and college and career readiness. He is the owner of MAVERIK EDUCATION LLC, providing professional development and consultation on increasing student achievement, teacher effectiveness, program compliance, and overall school performance. He is also the author of Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning published by ASCD.​

Erik’s expertise is in rephrasing academic standards and educational objectives into good questions that prompt students to think deeply and express and share the depth and extent of their learning in different academic and real world contexts. These good questions ​can be used to set the instructional focus and serve as formative, ​summative, and authentic assessments for student learning. They also can be used to engage students in active learning experiences such as project-based, problem-based, expeditionary, and service learning.

Erik works with K-12 schools nationwide on developing learning environments and delivering educational experiences that challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge in detail, insightfully, and in their own unique way. Erik’s professional development seminars and workshops have been featured at national, state, and regional education conferences hosted by organizations such as ASCD, Learning Forward, the College Board, the New Teacher Center, the Southern Region Education Board, and the Association for Middle Level Education. He has also been a keynote speaker and featured presenter at education conferences addressing topics such as gifted education, school leadership, Title I, English language learners, dropout prevention, charter schools, and social work.

Erik has been an educator for over twenty years, working as a middle and high school teacher, administrator, and an education program specialist in the Title I and English language learner units of the Arizona Department of Education. He received his Master’s in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University and Master’s of Science in Film and Television Production and Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication and English from the University at Albany. Erik lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family.

Workshop Description

What is a good question – or rather, how does a good question challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking as categorized by Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and communicate depth of knowledge as designated by Webb’s DOK Levels?  Learn how to rephrase the performance objectives of academic standards and learning targets into good questions that will promote cognitive rigor by encouraging students to think deeply, express and share the depth and extent of their learning, and demonstrate and develop and their personal skills and talents.


Participants will learn the following:

  • What are the eight good questions that promote cognitive rigor?
  • How do good questions challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge?
  • How can good questions be used set the instructional focus and serve as assessments for deeper student learning experiences?
  • How could teaching and learning with good questions prompts and encourage student engagement and personalized learning?
  • How are responses to good questions assessed for accuracy, acceptability, appropriateness, and authenticity?
  • How could you create good questions by rephrasing performance objectives into open-ended inquiries that require demonstration and communication of learning?


Fond du Lac High School

801 Campus Drive

Fond du Lac, WI 54935

(920) 929-2740

Date and Time:

​July 31, 2018:  8:00 AM – 3:30 PM


Cost and Registration

Cost: $175.00 per participant (includes lunch and refreshments)

Registration: To register for this workshop, please email us direct at with your name, email address, title/position and school district.

Registration Includes



Access to attend all sessions

Refreshments (coffee, water and soda)

Access to all presenter materials online