Fostering Reading and Writing Comprehension Skills in Media and Science and Technology Studies in an Interdisciplinary Program

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda, School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT)

Project team: Freya Zinovieff and Mirjana Prpa, research assistants, and Barbara Berry, Teaching and Learning Centre

Timeframe: January to December 2019

Funding: $6000

Course addressed: IAT 206W – Media Across Cultures

Description: This project aims to integrate readings from Science and Technologies Studies to our undergraduate students to introduce them to foundational theories that can better prepare them to become designers and content creators of media and technology. Our objective is to foster a critical awareness of the political, social, cultural and ethical dimensions of technology and media in general among our students. At the same time, this course redesign is part of a broader project that aims at both laddering W undergraduate courses and connecting undergraduate and graduate content. More specifically, we want to experiment with different tools and activities to improve reading comprehension and reading completion. The tools and activities we want to evaluate, include online reading quizzes, pre-reading quiz discussions, and one-to-one writing workshops to improve writing skills and measure concept comprehension. This grant will be used to assess to what extent do the reading quizzes, and pre-quiz discussions lead to a better understanding of the concepts discussed in class and readings. The project’s findings will inform how we further enhance student learning outcomes concerning deeper critical awareness of the political, social, cultural and ethical dimensions of technology and media in general.

Questions addressed:

  • To what extent do the reading quizzes and pre-quiz discussions lead to better understanding of the concepts discussed in class and in readings?
  • What are students’ perceptions of the value of pre-quiz discussions?
  • To what extent do students report reading the material?
  • To what extent do students see the reading quizzes as encouraging them to read?

Knowledge sharing: We will be sharing our findings and working closely with a core group of faculty members in SIAT who are working on laddering first, second, and third year W courses and making them required courses for our undergraduate students. We will distribute the results of my report and share my syllabus and course content with colleagues who will be involved in teaching the course in the future. I will also present my findings at a school meeting.

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