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ERIC Number: EJ1123224
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1052-4800
Expanded Transparency and Enhanced Reading in the First-Year Literature Survey
Ford, Natalie Mera
Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, v27 n4 p19-30 2016
Required first-year English courses present instructors with a challenge common in the humanities: How do we motivate students to engage in active reading rather than passively scroll down online guides? Introductory literature courses aim to develop students' critical thinking through close reading, analysis, and argumentation--skills demanding attention to nuance in the text and the reader's response. The use of SparkNotes cannot capture this, yet the trade of effort and nuance for ease and clarity tempts many students. This essay proposes the use of expanded pedagogical transparency to promote enhanced reading, especially in required cognates. Transparency has been shown to increase the effectiveness of college teaching and to be welcomed by most students in relation to assignment purpose and design (Anderson, Hunt, Powell, & Dollar, 2013). A parallel trend in contemporary business culture stresses the benefits of "open communication climate" in which goals and strategies succeed more when clearly articulated and shared. After discussing various forms of transparency that can be transferred across disciplines, the author describes a subject-specific case from her first-year required literature survey: a scaffolded, ultimately collaborative analytical reading assignment on Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" that's proven (over three iterations of the course) to involve more students in more active reading the more transparency she employs.
Miami University. 303 South Patterson Avenue, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-529-9265; Fax: 513-529-9264; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A