Engaged Reading

Engaged Reading


PLANNING INSTRUCTION & LEARNING ACTIVITIES (read more: pp ​​146 - 164 in the JITT Guide)

WHAT IS IT?What is it?

Reading is “a complex repertoire of practices that are text-type and context dependent, essentially concerned with meaning making”. Reading is inextricably intertwined with the disciplinary content, context, and values that most students are relative newcomers to, yet is “based on their engagement with background knowledge, schematic understandings and ideological perspectives” (Baker et al., 2018)1.


It is while reading that students engage with the text directly. Research shows that good readers are active readers.  Proficient readers establish goals for reading; they monitor and evaluate their own reading processes in an ongoing manner to assess the extent to which their reading process helps them to achieve their goals; they vary their reading process according to their purpose; they predict content before they read it; and they “construct, revise and question the meanings they make as they read” (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p. 205). 

DATA …Data

  • 31%of UCD students report that,  on average, they complete 80% or more of their assigned course reading (UCUES, 2018).


  • Use a concept map. Students map what they already know about a given topic and then discuss their maps with a partner, adding these new ideas to their own maps.

  • Preview the text. Demonstrate how you interact with parts of a text when you read, e.g., the table of contents, headings, charts and graphs, tables, and references, highlighting the ways you change your reading process, depending on your purpose for reading.

  • Model an article analysis. Review the structure and purpose of each part of an article by noting the article’s sections, as well as the forms of evidence, key phrases, variables, and/or figures on which to focus. Later, invite students to do an article analysis on their own so they can practice identifying these features independently.

  • Do a “think aloud.” Demonstrate to students your own reading process while reading a text out loud: Read the text and stop to explain how you read carefully and attend to detail.

  • Create graphic organizers.  Provide students with graphic organizers (e.g., a Venn Diagram or Process Flow diagram) that correspond to the conceptual structures in the readings for students to fill out and turn in.


STUDENTS SAY… Students Say

  • “While I don’t always complete all of my assigned reading, I’ve noticed that I prioritize reading for classes where professors provide me with a worksheet or guide to complete while I am reading.”
  • “I really appreciated the class where the instructor took the time to show us how she reads an academic journal article.  Hearing her thought process helped me see what I was doing well, and what I needed to improve.”


  • How can you integrate previews of readings into class (i.e., Who is the author? Who is the intended audience? What occasion prompted this writing? What is the author’s purpose?)
  • How can you prompt and remind students of connections between the readings and their prior courses and experiences?
  • 1. List of all references in the complete JITT Guide.