About Moderation: Closed-Ended Questions

Why was your post moderated?

Closed-ended questions aren’t just questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”! We consider a closed-ended question to be one that has a straight forward response — there is a correct answer to it, it can be found on Google or in a textbook, or it can be copied and pasted from another source. Your post was moderated because we felt it demonstrated the characteristics of a closed-ended question and has the potential to be revised into one that is open-ended and therefore more engaging!

Why do we moderate for closed-ended questions?

Closed-ended questions don’t allow for you and your peers to explore various opinions and ideas. Closed-ended questions can lead to many students restating similar answers with slightly different wording, or students agreeing with one another without supporting their opinion. This is because a closed-ended question seeks an answer that is already defined and does not invite novel discussion.

Why is asking open-ended questions important?

Open-ended questions encourage you to put together meaningful answers that stem from your own knowledge, experiences, ideas, thoughts and feelings. There’s also not a “wrong” or “right” answer, which gives you the opportunity to explore the subject in unique, creative ways. We believe discussions sparked by open-ended questions are not only richer and more dynamic but also highlight your individuality, creating a space where you feel safe to engage deeply in your learning experiences.

What did our AI pick up on your post?

  • The language or structure of your post
  • The potential discussion that would come out of your post
  • Any other factors that may lead to a low-quality discussion such as lack of creativity or originality

Helpful Tips to make your post more open-ended:

  • Ask a question that has many possible answers
  • Ask a question that does not have a single “right” answer
  • Ask a question that calls on your classmates to draw connections between the material and real-world situations
  • Avoid starting questions with phrases like “What is the definition of…”, “What is the difference between…”

Here’s what we mean!

When writing open-ended questions, Packback follows a cognitive framework known as Bloom’s Taxonomy to ensure higher levels of thinking. Learn more about it here!


Closed-ended questionOpen-ended questionWhy is this a better question to ask?
“What is the best way to reduce stress?”Which methods for reducing stress have been most helpful and beneficial to you? How so? This kind of open-ended question demonstrates Level 3: Apply of Bloom’s Taxonomy which asks you to apply solutions to specific problems or situations and explain them. Certain responses can open a door for students who took a different path, leading to a richer discussion.
“Why is animal testing bad?”What might be considered some ethical concerns regarding animal testing?Level 4: Analyze of Bloom’s Taxonomy makes this a better option because it asks you to voice individual concerns and suggest new ideas.
“What happened as a result of the Boston Tea Party of 1773?”What could the American Colonies have done differently at the Boston Tea Party in order to have achieved a more favorable outcome? Level 5: Evaluate allows the opportunity to both present and defend judgment, ideas, opinions and solutions. This type of open-ended question asks you to rethink the subject and come to a new and unique conclusion.
“Is the Creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein a danger to society?”If the Creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was caught and put on trial for being a danger to society, which side would you take and what evidence would you provide to support that stance? This open-ended question applies Bloom’s Level 6: Create which allows you to draw from facts, evidence or other tangible resources in order to come to a conclusion that is a new whole made up of many parts.