Provide preview guides for new course content
- Reading or viewing guides help students learn to focus on what is most important and to weave relationships between old and new content.
- A guide can include ‘watch for’ vocabulary lists and key questions that students should be able to answer after reading.
- The screenshot below shows questions given to a class to guide their reading for the next session. Note where questions prompted students to make personal connections and directions about what sections to skim and why.
Support expert reading with graphic organizers and note-taking support
- Offer graphic organizers or note-taking templates to support students’ independent decoding and comprehension of course content.
- This overview of the impact of graphic organizers includes several examples of how to weave their use into a class.
- Multiple sites offer graphic organizer templates matched to the reading or activity purpose (via University of Akron).
- This note-taking examples resource (Miami University Ohio) can spark ideas for templates and guidance to provide to students.
Use reading response activities to check student understanding and promote deeper thinking
- Reading response activities can be short or detailed, but they give students the chance to step back and get the ‘birds eye view’ of course content.
- Reading response activities can be posted on a discussion board, submitted individually, or shared in a synchronous session. Possible activities include:
- 3-2-1 responses: Write 3 key facts or ideas about the reading, 2 questions either for clarification or more information, and 1 connection to your own life or other course content
- Wrapper activity: Ask students to share the three most important ideas from the assigned reading. After students share their ideas, show your three main takeaways and discuss where there are similarities and differences.
- Twitter reports: Students summarize readings in less than 130 characters using a class hashtag. The class responds to each other’s reports. This can be used in any chat feature, as well.
- Help students process screencasts by asking them to write a summary survey. Ruffini (2012) proposes using a 5-sentence summary of what students watched:
- Sentence 1: In this video, I learned…
- Sentence 2: Specifically,…
- Sentence 3: I really understood…
- Sentence 4: I am still confused about…
- Sentence 5: This screencast can be related to…
- Tomasek (2009) offers even more ideas for reading response questions tailored to college level teaching and outcomes. There are also great strategies for using reading response questions as an interactive experience between students.