Become an Innovative Online Nurse Educator

Assignment Spotlight: Helping Students Read Effectively

Jan 03, 2023

A while back, I highlighted a podcast episode from Faculty Focus on getting students to engage with the reading and highlighted a fun interactive strategy to get students to take an active part in their readings. This week, I'll highlight another strategy from that episode to help students read more effectively when completing their assignments. Check it out in today's blog post.

There can be A LOT of reading assignments in online courses. I know that in one of my classes, there are almost 100 chapters assigned! Now, they are very brief chapters, some only 2-3 page, but that's still A LOT of reading. In the faculty focus podcast episode I highlighted in a previous blog post, Maryellen Weimer mentioned an issue that I have often seen in my years of teaching. Sometimes when students complete their readings, they sit with their text and a highlighter, and end up highlighting the ENTIRE chapter. Somehow, this makes them feel that they not only completed the reading, but got all of the main points. However, when it comes time for discussion, we all realize, they have not really gained anything from that reading. 

Maryellen Weimer mentioned a technique of modeling how to complete readings and main points in your class. Here are some ways you might do this in an online class:

  • Overview video- highlight certain pages
  • Brief lecture video- highlight certain pages 
  • Have students highlight main points with page numbers?

This method of modeling active reading can be a big help to students who may not have the skills they need to get the most out of their readings. It also gives instructors an opportunity to assess student progress on reading and ensure they are getting the necessary information from their assignments. Hopefully, this strategy will help your students make more effective use of the reading time they are given in your class.

This technique is also an important inclusive practice to ensure that all of your students are receiving the same information regardless of their reading level, what resources they may have available to them, or skills they may already possess.

Using this strategy can help to ensure that all of your students are getting the same information from their readings and have a better understanding of course content. And, in the end, they will be more prepared for class discussion or assignments based on reading materials. Give it a try in your online course and see if it proves successful with your students.

I'd LOVE to hear your ideas of how you can use this activity in your online courses. Share your thoughts, experiences and ideas in The Online Educator Facebook Group by clicking the link HERE. Also, as a treat don’t forget to GRAB YOUR FREE GUIDE to the 3 Secrets to Teaching Online Successfully.

Would you like me to spotlight one of your assignments? Share your assignment HERE for an opportunity to be spotlighted in The Online Educator Blog.

I am a nurse and a college educator. I help other motivated educators leverage the tools needed to teach online successfully so that they can create lively, engaging, quality courses from the comfort of their homes!
© 2020~Natasha Nurse-Clarke~ All rights reserved. Originally published at This content can not be used for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of this content. For non-commercial purposes, please credit Natasha Nurse-Clarke~

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