Activity: Create activities to support student processing and comprehension.
Provide reading/viewing/listening guides for new course content
Reading or viewing guides help students focus on the most important ideas and prompt connections between old and new content.
- A guide can include ‘look for’ vocabulary and ideas as well as focus questions that students should be able to answer after reading.
- Use guides to prompt student thinking about personal connections to content and the connections to prior and future work. Guides can be scaffolded to establish basic knowledge and then ask students to apply what they’ve processed to a novel context or larger issue.
- The screenshot below shows questions given to a class to guide their reading in a course text. Note where questions prompted students to make personal connections and directions about what sections to skim and why.
- Unsure of how to develop reading guide questions? The appendix in Concepción’s (2004) article about preparing students to read philosophy provides a framework to provide explicit reading support that can be adapted across disciplines.
- Wrapper activity: Ask students to share the three most important or lasting 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 comment on a reading or recording 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.
- Screencast summary surveys: 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 prompts tailored to college level teaching and outcomes. There are also great strategies for using reading prompts as an interactive experience between students. The ideas can be applied to other resources, not just text-based materials.