Textbook Reading Strategies for Efficient Learning Outcomes
Posted On: 15 March 2023 | 10:12:pm
Reading is one of the most essential parts of learning, irrespective of whether you are in school or college. However, you would feel like you are drowning in reading assignments as your standard grows. While the reading load in school can be substantial, there are ways to make it more manageable.
Don’t do all the assigned reading
Even if you wish to do all the assigned reading for a course, you probably do not have that much time, but telling you do not have to do all the reading is still a controversial suggestion despite the reality that your institutes place several additional demands on your limited time.
Some techniques you can do to understand how much reading a class requires
in the majority of the cases, you do not know when you start the class. Instead, you just need to spend a week or two figuring out people how critical the reading is to the class performance.
Consult the syllabus
The course syllabus can give you an idea about how important your reading assignment is. It’s a great sign that reading will be essential if you see that most of the projects are reading-based, and most of the class meetings and devoted to this discussion. But unfortunately, you cannot contribute a lot to discussions of the reading assignments.
Another red flag is that reading matters a lot if your grade is based mainly on essays about the task. It is often the case with literature courses in which two or three papers determine the final grade. You must spare some extra time if you see assignments that require you to summarize or otherwise reflect on the reading assignments.
Compare lectures with the assigned reading.
The syllabus is one of the best places to understand how much reading you need to do for a class, but it will not eventually tell you everything. You have to pay close attention to how the material is covered in the course and what is covered in the textbook. You can probably cut back on the amount you need to read if you find that lectures overlap extensively with the reading assignments. Give more time to the assigned reading if you find that lessons are wildly different from the textbook material or only provide a general overview.
How can you read the textbook effectively?
Focus on the primary text
You will have different kinds of reading assignments in any given class, but generally, there are one or two primary texts that are usually very important to the class. This will be a textbook, but it can also be a collection of different articles or other books. Whatever it is, you must focus on reading the primary text of your class and do not stress about other supplementary materials.
Do not read anything mindlessly.
One thing that adds bad as not reading the text at all is just running your eyes over the page without engaging with the material thoroughly. You might pick up some information this way, but it is not one of the best ways to learn something. Instead, it would be best if you read with perfect focus and intent. One of the most literal ways to engage with the material is annotating a book. You can underline or highlight some critical phrases, and you can also write some notes in the margin to clarify your thoughts about the text. Additionally, you can mark anything that you want to understand.
One to understand you’re reading this way, it will be relatively easier to review the material later or turn your emotions into a separate page of notes. You can still make notes with sticky flags or sticky notes if you cannot write in the books because you have rented or borrowed them from someone. You just need to put the flags next to the passages you find interesting and use the sticky notes for leaving notes in the margin without actually having to write in the book.
Take some notes
While writing the book is an excellent start to improving comprehension. Ideally, you must take notes on the assigned reading. Taking notes forces you to summarize and condense the material focusing on essential ideas.
Write down some questions.
Textbooks and academic articles generally take pride in using confusing or technical language, so you are bound to come across some elements that you do not understand or do not make sense as the author doesn’t explain them clearly.
Readout of order
Textbooks are not like your novels, and there are usually different methods to read a textbook. Instead, you have to skip to the end of the chapter and use the material to guide more reading. Some textbook chapters also end with questions to test the comprehension and summary of the material. It can help you focus on the essential ideas if you read this stuff first.
Hence these are some strategies you need to read the text effectively.
Source : GD Goenka School Gurgaon