Today’s topic focused on Reading assignments. The group talked about the best way to use reading assignments and the inherent difficulties of getting all students to do the readings. One question posed to the group was how do you insure that all the students will read the article/chapter/handout for homework with out having to always having a reading quiz attached the next class. Some suggestions were to make some reading assignments (a guided reading worksheet) optional for extra credit. This might give some of the students who might be struggling more incentive to do the reading. Other suggested the idea of a smaller pre-read for homework and then have the class read the material the next day. The thought was many students might shy away from reading longer articles, as many do not see a reading assignment as actual homework.
The article give at the lunch focused on reading circles. These lesson are done in class and can be effective because all group members are assigned a particular role with a responsibility. Although, thees reading groups might require a little more time to setup and can be a bit noisy, they do yield positive results and also help students to better understand the difference between collaborating and copying.
This issue of academic integrity came up during the lunch discussion. The concern of students not doing the reading and sharing/copying each others assignments was a concern for many in the group. The group talked about different ways to help combat this problem and also talked about how there seemed to be more of a problem with this issue at the Freshmen level than the upper levels. We also talked about balancing the efforts to prevent all cheating with the benefits of a particular lesson. The use of various technology resources could help to minimize the ease of copying. Using more open-ended questions in a reading guide might also help.
Overall the discussion was very positive and as always those in attendance appreciated each others views and the opportunity to just sit and talk with colleagues about a profession we all love.
Next weeks topic will be on Test/Quiz Retake and Test Correction Policies.
Thank you all for continuing to take time out of your busy days to come and share your great ideas.