What can the Reading In the Disciplines Program offer faculty and students?
Each semester, selected instructors involve many of their students in an innovative program designed to support their teaching and to help students improve their academic reading.
Should you involve your students?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might want to find out how the Reading In the Disciplines program could enhance your classroom teaching and help your students become more successful readers in your course and in your discipline.
- Does your course include reading assignments which most students find challenging or downright difficult?
- Are you concerned about the reading or writing abilities of many of your students?
- Is your class a larger one, leaving you little time to deal with the reading difficulties of individual students?
- Do you wish that your students could engage in more collaborative or group discussion sessions, but find that your class size, timetable, or curriculum needs do not permit such small-group discussions or problem-solving during your regular class time?
How do the Reading In the Disciplines courses work?
At the beginning of the semester, students may sign up for a one-credit, pass/fail Reading In the Disciplines class attached to your course. Small groups then meet weekly throughout the semester with a trained peer facilitator (who functions much like a teaching assistant) to go over class readings, notes, and handouts. Students are encouraged to take the initiative by determining what they do and do not understand about your course materials and by learning what questions to ask in order to resolve their confusions.
How evolved is the Reading In the Disciplines program?
Reading In the Disciplines courses have been a feature of the UWSP curriculum since 1984. Two of the oldest such courses-- Philosophy 199 and History 198-- continue to draw interested instructors and students.
Are students required to enroll in the Reading In the Disciplines group?
Student enrollment is entirely voluntary, although instructors whose courses are associated with Reading In the Disciplines generally encourage students to participate. Trained peer facilitators "pitch" the program to your students with a five-minute talk and a sign-up sheet in the second week of classes. They may also bring in a former Reading In the Disciplines partcipant to share positive experiences inthe program.
What types of students typically enroll?
Reading In the Disciplines groups are heterogeneous, from students who expect 'A's to those who might consider themselves at-risk in the parent-course. The program's success is tied, we believe, to such diversity. Participating students--both those who excel and those who struggle--comment that they feel more comfortable speaking in the small Reading In the Disciplines groups.
What are the Reading In the Disciplines course requirements?
- attend all group sessions (with a maximum of three excused absences)
- actively participate in the meetings
- bring a written response to the class readings to each session and
- write a final reflection on the Reading In the Disciplines experience.
How are Reading In the Disciplines classes graded?
They are pass/fail courses, with grading done by the Reading In the Disciplines Coordinator. Students who fulfill the course requirements (see above) pass.
How much time do participating faculty spend with the Reading In the Disciplines course?
The program is designed to help faculty, not give them additional work. Your time commitment would be minimal, unless you wish to become more involved.
Amanda Meidl Grundman
Coordinator, Reading In the Disciplines
018 Learning Resource Center715firstname.lastname@example.org