Prompting is an instructional strategy in which any one of several different cues (e.g., gestures, illustrations, photographs, modeling) is used to help a student learn a new skill or behavior. The prompt is given before or right as a student is getting ready to perform an ability to prevent student error. Prompts can be used to teach behavioral as well as academic skills.
- Prompts are utilized regularly by instructors to help learners get beyond blocks in learning. Without prompts, some learners may never develop or improve.
- It is hard to know precisely how much prompting to give and at what stage. Learners need time to think things through and make mistakes. Too much prompting too soon can prevent learners from thinking for themselves.
- An instructor may ask a question to get the learner to look at the task from a different perspective.
- An instructor may point at a section of a diagram and ask the learner about that section.
- An instructor may start a sentence and ask the learner to finish it.