Large reading assignments are like large T-bone steaks: on any given day, they run the risk of not completely getting done (I personally like my steak medium-rare, so that’s not an issue for me). And much like underprepared steak, underprepared students are increasingly more likely to invoke stomach trauma for everyone in the classroom. Dr. Lisa Quinn-Lee, Department of Social Work, describes how she utilizes guided-reading questions to help her students get through tough reading assignments and be better prepared for in-class discussion:
One thing I do when I give my students reading assignments—especially if the reading is dense or difficult—is create complementary guided-reading questions. It’s a trick I actually learned from CETL during one of the many workshops I’ve attended over the years. It usually ends up being 10 questions a chapter that focuses students’ attention on the important segments of the reading. I randomly check throughout the semester to see if they have them done (so if there are 15 reading assignments, I might check 5 of them over the period of the course). This ensures that students will come to class prepared and ready to discuss those 10 questions, which leads to very active class periods. It additionally helps me write the exams (I base them off of the reading questions) and helps the students study for the exams: their work serves as a personalized study guide.
Interviewed by: Jon Pumper