Bringing Reading into the Classroom: Using Active Learning to Practice the Invisible Skill

Ingie Hovland
University of Georgia

Reading is an “invisible” skill, making it challenging to address in a college classroom. Yet, it is fundamental to disciplinary thought. Inspired by the “signature pedagogies” conversation, I wanted to find ways to make more visible in my classroom what I do when I work with readings. This gave rise to several questions: How can I make reading practices in my discipline more transparent to students? How can they develop the habits of mind necessary to link this particular way of reading to a particular way of disciplinary thinking? In fact, how can students be held accountable for doing the reading in the first place? This article reflects on how I placed reading at the core of my class design. I include discussion of the overall purpose of reading, assessment of reading, the reading list, reading logs, and in-class active learning exercises that engage with the readings.

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