To promote learner-learner and learner-content interaction.
To encourage student engagement in and with scholarly texts and writing.
To enhance students’ ownership of the teaching/learning activities.
How to do this
This activity is designed to engage students in reading activities through the use of the discussion feature in your Canvas LMS. Follow the instructions below:
Inform students of group reading activities, discuss your expectations of students, provide detailed instructions and advise if the activity carries any values towards the final assessment.
Set up rosters with duty allocation, such as discussion facilitator, note-taker and summary writer. Change the roles for effective participation.
Identify reading texts for your modules, topics or blocks in advance.
If you have large classes, you may want to do it using group features in Canvas so that all students have the opportunity to lead the discussions. Follow these instructions on creating Groups or book a session with LX.lab for assistance.
Allocate one or more students to read a given text prior to an allocated week
post questions for reflection and discussion for the rest of the group members/class to respond to.
To promote interactions and social learning, ask students to make one original contribution and two additional contributions as responses to their classmates’ posts.
Create rules about what you expect your students to do to make their engagement more meaningful. For example, students could be asked to link their comments with the course materials or assessments or identify where the information could be useful.
Use summary writer posts at the end of the week to summarise the discussion. Students can identify and comment on the emerging trends or themes and key takeaways from the discussion.
After the task
At the end of the week or the discussion, summarise the emerging trends or themes ( if this has not been done by one of the students).
In your post, answer any questions or point to the issues that are not addressed or require your expertise.
To encourage higher student participation, make such discussion a part of internal evaluations so all are encouraged to read the given article and contribute to the discussion thread.
Asking students to generate questions out of reading requires students to think critically, leading to an enhanced comprehension of reading texts. It is a good idea to instruct students to ask questions from the reading to further discussions.
Setting up rules about comments and what you expect your students to do in their posts can help to make the discussion more effective. For example, see example Pelz (2010) where he provides practical tips on setting up rules for student discussion ‘Three principles of effective online pedagogy’.
What tools you could use
You can use the following technologies in this activity that are supported by UTS:
Canvas discussion and groups
When and where to use
Introduce at the beginning of the semester.
Social science, law, research subjects, literature review [and courses with readings]
#3 Built for active learning
#5 Clearly communicate expectations to students
#7 Evidence of teacher presence
How long will it take
What research tells us
This activity is useful because it helps academics to enhance their social presence by promoting learner to learner and learners to content interactions.
By allocating students responsibilities to lead the discussion of the readings and assigning other responsibilities such as question-prompter, a moderator can help to enhance learners’ ownership of the learning activities (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016).
Activities such as; setting up tasks, providing detailed instructions and summarising; help to enhance teacher presence (Pelz, 2010).
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.M. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips (2nd ed). Jossey-Bass.
Pelz, B (2010). Three principles of effective online pedagogy. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(3), 33-46.
Citation and attribution
Laudari, S. (2020). “Shared Reading” in Adaptable Resources for Teaching with Technology, LX.Lab, Institute for Interactive Media & Learning, University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved from https://lx.uts.edu.au/resources/shared-reading/