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  • I'm Geri Markel.

  • I'm an educational psychologist and my focus is

  • on learning and performance.

  • So in that capacity, I help students with time management,

  • organization, and other study skills.

  • And today's topic is going to be reading efficiency.

  • And reading efficiency and effectiveness, is something

  • that is frequently not taught as a separate category

  • as students increase in the complexity

  • of the responsibilities that they have.

  • And so if you ask many people

  • when is the last time you had some reading instruction?

  • They say oh sixth or seventh grade.

  • And so we can imagine the kinds of pressures that are

  • put on even extraordinarily bright students,

  • those who are very competent,

  • but who don't really have the strategies

  • and maybe the attitude to look at effective reading.

  • And so for example this cartoon is talking

  • about blocking everything out except the important parts

  • and goes to the idea that people frequently underline.

  • But we'll be talking about that later, but underlining

  • without thinking doesn't bring good memory and retention.

  • So we want to have strategies that ensure

  • that when a student is finished

  • with an assignment they can understand it, talk about it,

  • and then retain it so they can integrate it later

  • with other information.

  • And so the goals of today are to make students aware

  • and counselors aware of the kind of strategies that do exist

  • to enhance reading, comprehension, and retention,

  • and integration with other sources, maybe multiple sources,

  • and to read, relieve the stress that comes

  • with inadequate reading kinds of things.

  • And it's very important for students

  • to start looking more deeply of, at the kinds of things

  • that tend to be barriers.

  • And so we've included a little self check,

  • which looks at what a student might be experiencing

  • when they're reading.

  • And so a student or a counselor, advisor, could use a checklist

  • like this and just see if they could identify

  • some of the problems.

  • For example, some students read rapidly,

  • but they don't remember.

  • Some students read slowly, but they read

  • so slowly they don't remember and they get distracted.

  • Some people can read and understand, but not remember.

  • And so we want to really start focusing on the kinds

  • of barriers that exist and the kinds of strengths

  • that students might have.

  • When we talk about attitude and perception, we want to look

  • at reading as information processing

  • so that the words trigger ideas, concepts,

  • help us understand the definitions of terms,

  • and later create a scaffolding

  • so that we can integrate information

  • from different sources.

  • And frequently, because people have not looked at reading

  • as a set of specific strategies, strategies that they can use

  • to self regulate the kinds of information that they need

  • to read and remember, they don't really get, get efficient.

  • So one of the myths is that you can read everything

  • at the same rate and in the same way.

  • And as course work becomes more complex,

  • content areas become more differentiated,

  • we need to have a set of strategies that depend

  • on the purpose for which we're reading.

  • And so we're looking at reading as a basic building block

  • and vocabulary as a critical variable.

  • And too often people don't spend enough time

  • in new fields learning the jargon,

  • learning the nuances perhaps of different vocabulary words

  • and without that basic block of learning,

  • they fail to really comprehend well.

  • This is an idea slide looking at a ladder of learning,

  • which is applied to most parts of learning.

  • And when students look at this in terms

  • of general academic performance, reading, note taking,

  • test taking, it helps to clarify what they need to do

  • for particular situations.

  • For example, these learning objectives are set up so

  • that the lowest level revolves around knowledge,

  • which would be some basic vocabulary, perhaps a map,

  • some calculations, the very basic

  • building blocks of knowledge.

  • At the next level, comprehension, we want students

  • to be able in their own words to be able to explain a term,

  • a topic, a definition, a concept.

  • At the next level, application,

  • the student maybe has to do a problem.

  • So if you were doing a word problem that would depend

  • on basic reading, basic calculations,

  • understanding the difference between multiplication

  • and division, and then being able to solve a problem.

  • When you look at these three levels,

  • we can look at what is necessary when you're reading.

  • Do I, am I reading this first time

  • through for some basic definitions and main ideas

  • or am I going more in depth and going to the next level,

  • am I needing to analyze, am I needing

  • to breakdown the components, or the next level synthesize,

  • synthesis if I could say it, synthesis.

  • Am I required to combine a bunch of topics or concepts

  • so I can do relationships?

  • At the top is the more creative, the evaluative type of thinking

  • in which you might do a critical analysis

  • or create your own design.

  • So when students are looking at assignments, they might want

  • to look at a chart like this and decide,

  • am I reading this perhaps for the first time

  • to get some main ideas and vocabulary?

  • Can once I do that, can I describe things in my own words

  • and then how am I going to apply this to the basic problems

  • and principles that I have to do for assignments or projects?

  • And so the idea that we have different strategies,

  • different rates, depending on what we read,

  • is sometimes a foreign concept for many, many students.

  • So if for example you were reading poetry or trying to get

  • through something you didn't know anything about,

  • you might slow down because you were looking

  • at particular critical keywords, vocabulary,

  • trying to piece together what the main ideas were.

  • If you're sort of familiar with something, you might be moving

  • through the material a little bit more quickly.

  • If you were reading a James Bond book or some kind of novel

  • where you knew the characters, understood the style,

  • then you would ratchet it up a little more quickly,

  • perhaps if the book was boring skipping over some boring parts,

  • and then over 350 words a minutes

  • where you're rapidly locating information.

  • Your eyes don't move probably more quickly

  • than 600 words a minute from the old studies that we did

  • in rate of eye movement.

  • And you might be doing that when you're looking at a glossary,

  • an index, a table of contents, a telephone book,

  • a series of tables, where you really know what you're looking

  • for and you're really sort of scanning and you have

  • in your mind an idea of what you're doing.

  • So looking at this and combining it with the levels of learning,

  • students begin to see how they can modulate what they're doing

  • and how they're doing it.

  • Another kind of thing that helps students is

  • to begin analyzing what a text is like.

  • Is this is a text that's probably just listing terms

  • and it's really quite scientific or specific?

  • Is it a text that's describing a con, a concept or a topic,

  • and it has lots of increasingly detailed information?

  • Is it a passage or a chapter

  • that's doing contrast or pro/con?

  • Is it looking at cause and effect?

  • Is it looking at sequence?

  • Frequently, when you ask students how you read something,

  • they say oh, well I open the book and I start to read.

  • They don't do anything to look at what kind of text it is

  • and then adjust the kind of strategy they might use.

  • Sometimes students begin to do this spontaneously,

  • but depending on one's personality and style you,

  • you might be used to reading everything, learning everything,

  • being able to memorize everything in a book,

  • but not really being able to integrate it.

  • And at the undergrad level, by the time one gets

  • to their major area or the graduate level,

  • the mass of information that needs to be read has

  • to be handled with a little bit more finesse.

  • Students frequently again spontaneously,

  • but maybe unconsciously because they are so familiar

  • with the language, begin to look for keywords and signal words.

  • One way of making reading more effective is

  • to become increasingly aware of the signal words and be looking

  • at sentences when you read in terms of clauses

  • and where does particular kinds of words come, come in.

  • So if it was perhaps a pro/con and an argument,

  • the student would be looking for words like 'although',

  • 'however', 'on the other hand.'

  • And it doesn't take much practice for students to begin

  • to look for these kinds of words.

  • They can practice in newspapers, they can practice in magazines,

  • and they can also practice in the kinds of articles.

  • But this is a separate kind of activity.

  • It's one where you are trying to analyze what the text

  • and what the writing style is.

  • And this becomes particularly important

  • when students are reading multiple kinds of articles.

  • When you used to have a textbook,

  • you would have a traditional organization.

  • You might have lots of bold headings and separations

  • of chapters or topics.

  • That's not necessarily true in some of the research articles

  • or literature that students are reading and so they have

  • to have this internal framework or structure

  • upon which to build their comprehension.

  • One of the tried and true strategies is called the

  • SQ4R method.

  • It's a method of thinking and processing information,

  • first talked about by Robinson in the '40s

  • and then embellished upon by Don Smith in the '50s and '60s,

  • and it talks about using multiple modalities in going

  • through a reading, passage, textbook, or taking notes,

  • or studying for tests, using the same strategy for multiple uses

  • and emphasizing one or two

  • of the steps depending on what's going on.

  • So at the first level, you want

  • to survey what it is you're going to read

  • and what the purpose is for reading.

  • Is it for review?

  • It is for new knowledge?

  • It is for collecting more detailed information?

  • The next reason is that when you're using different

  • modalities at the simplest level, if you are looking

  • at something one part of your brain is sort of lighting up

  • and active, if you're writing, another part,

  • and the more activity you have,

  • you seem to reinforce the integration of knowledge

  • and the awareness and the discrimination

  • of various kinds of ideas.

  • And so what we're looking at is not just a reader

  • who is efficient reading one source,

  • but at the more sophisticated level,

  • a reader who can integrate information

  • from multiple sources and be, do some critical analysis

  • and then application of the information

  • to new kinds of problems.

  • The steps in the SQ4R are first to survey, to look at a chapter

  • or a book or an article, to see what the components are,

  • perhaps see if you can identify the main idea.

  • The next step would be asking questions.

  • And the kind of questions you ask can be at the grossest level

  • such as who, what, why, where, when, or it can depend

  • on what the assignment is and the focus

  • that lectures have taken.

  • And so frequently a student might have 200 pages to read,

  • the lecture or the PowerPoint notes that are given ahead,

  • only focus on one-third of the chapter.

  • If a student is pressed for time, a slow reader,

  • inefficient reader, hates reading, then they might focus

  • on the aspects that are covered in the text that will be covered

  • in the lecture and just cutdown on the amount.

  • So surveying and questioning provide an avenue

  • in a way to approach reading.

  • The next step in reading is a very specific, targeted,

  • interactive process, so that you have a question in mind

  • and you are seeking and searching information

  • that answers the question.

  • The next part is that you're reciting.

  • Perhaps the material is so difficult

  • that when you're actually reading it you sort of talk it

  • out to yourself as it's, as if it's a foreign language,

  • because you're not really clear about the terms.

  • The next part would be to say it in your own words.

  • If you can't say it or do the next step, write it in terms

  • of writing keywords or diagrams, if you can't say it, write it,