Students Need to be Taught to Read Webpages

April 10, 2013

This entry will have me try to make a frustrating experience and turn it into something positive or find a proactive way to combat it.

On my class page, I had for 3 weeks posted about an upcoming novel study. I had mentioned it in the newsfeed numerous times, I left audio messages and I even created a widget beside the newsfeed aimed specifically at telling the students about the novel.  Then, when the time came, I posted a link to read the novel, but also mentioned that it is equally valid to read their own copy in their preferred method.

After starting the novel study, I had two different students( 4 days after it was scheduled to start) ask me what book we were reading and how they were supposed to read it. This, after three weeks of alerts and a link RIGHT ON THE PAGE!  I need to think of a way to make my students read and listen to instructions a little better.  Here is a short list of things I think need to be inproved:

– (me) could have sent a mass email to students instead of relying on them read each days newsfeed

– (me) could start setting restrictions on content so that the assignment will not open until the content has been read

– (me) could be a little more creative in placement of assignment – to ensure students have read instructions, maybe embed instructions/ assignments within other important must reads

– (both) ensure students who enrol in elearning have to complete some type of web training – just knowing HOW to read a web page could be part of the problem

– (both) ensure students have a home school connection to help them with reading a page or helping with technical glitches – sometimes you just need another set of eyes to “see” what you are missing

– (me) maybe I need to change the nomenclature of what students are reading. instead of expectations and rationale, maybe I should make those words more student friendly like “why I’m teaching this” and “how it is important” in more concise terms, but you know what I mean

– (both) students and staff have an expectation and motivation to log in and dedicate the time to a course. I think some of my students feel “all alone” out there, no regular home school attendance, spotty log-in hours for me. In co-op do they not have supervisors that do onsite visits or “inschool” days? Maybe one-on-one consultations are necessary in elearning classes as well.

I need to start generating some ideas, because , honestly, I was very frustrated when two students didn’t even seem to know what novel we were reading OR where to find it, particularly when I had been talking about it for 3 weeks AND posted the link right on the page!!!  I don’t want to blame them, hey, at least they asked and didn’t sit there wondering for another week what to do, but something has to be done to bridge the gap  – whether its knowing how to read a webpage or having  a way to ensure they are reading the material I leave. I hope I can find a way to reach them!

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