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Reading Strategies Guide

Module-level considerations

At the module level, you will need to consider the practicalities of the reading itself:

  • the actual resources that the students will need to use
  • how students will gain access to these resources
  • how students will be advised about the resources they need and the overall reading expectations of the module

The following sections take you through some of the questions you should ask yourself about the module reading.

General structure of the module reading

What is the overall 'character' of the module reading? Here are some examples of module-level reading structures used at Birmingham Newman:

  • An essential course-reader supplemented by specialist journal articles / books for particular topics?
  • A weekly literary text with a range of recommended monographs and articles to provide critiques and analysis
  • 2 or 3 government reports / strategies, a series of journal articles from online databases, complemented by contemporary news coverage and the professional press
  • 3 or 4 monographs, balanced by short readings from up to 20 or 30 monographs or journal articles

Communicating the moudle reading to students

Explain how you will inform students of the reading and your expectations of what they will read for each part of your moudle. Some examples of this might be:

  • A bibliography / recommendations on Moodle, tied to individual taught sessions or themes?
  • A bibliography / recommendations on Moodle, tied to assessment tasks?
  • Embedded reading as part of a module task? (eg. develop a ‘search strategy’ as a formative task during the module)
  • Face to face discussion and recommendations in ‘class’ time? How will you ensure that students who are not present on that occasion can catch up?

There may be other strategies that you will use: this list is not exhaustive and there is no 'one-size-fits-all'.

Students' skills and experience of finding and using resources

You may have noticed this heading appearing in previous sections. It is vital to the success of your reading strategy. Where and when have students developed the skills to successfully engage with the module content?

  • On this module? If so, when in relation to the reading tasks? How are they delivered / embedded?
  • On another module? When does this occur in relation to my module?
  • Might students require reinforcement or extension of their existing skills? If so:
    • Will this be available formally or informally?
    • Who will provide this?
    • Is that person / department aware that this may be required?

Practicatlities of the Module

  • How many students do I expect on the module?
    • How will I manage if there are significantly more than I anticipate?
  • How many of us are teaching on the module?
    • Do we have a shared understanding of what is available, what we are recommending and how to access it?
  • How will the students use the physical Campus during this particular module?
    • They are at Birmingham Newman most days
    • They attend around once a week
    • They attend infrequently, often outside core staff hours
    • They rarely or never attend Birmingham Newman
  • Am I anticipating ways of working that will be difficult or impossible for students with particular disabilities or circumstances?
    • Could I do this in a different way and still meet the learning outcomes / benchmarks for the whole cohort?
    • Are there specific variations in practice or approach that I could make for individuals who require reasonable adjustments?
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