Thanks to Margy for sharing information about her presentation at the ISSoTL 2013 conference in Raleigh, NC earlier this month. Margy received a Going Public Award for presenting this work:
The presentation focused on findings of the project which illuminated how students were reading a text while making connections.
The presentation outlined a research project that sought to understand how students could connect their prior knowledge/experience to reading an academic article in their field. As making connections while reading is a central part of academic practice which is often unseen, and unknown to students, but which faculty expect them to do as part of their academic reading, I wanted to know what kinds of connections students could make to an academic text. Student responses to an in-class activity were analyzed using a phenomenographic approach.
While I found that students could and did make connections to both academic and personal knowledge, a more significant finding was that the connections revealed how students were reading the text and their varying focus between words and meaning. Some connections revealed a surface reading of the text while other demonstrated a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the words. These deeper connections provided evidence of deeper reading and understanding through the creation of analogies, through integration with professional practice and through critique of the article as an artifact of communication.