Portland Community College has four campuses across the Portland metro area. Curriculum includes both liberal arts degrees and career/technical certificates. Students range in age from 18 (some younger), who have come in directly from what we call High School, to the adult returning student, completing a degree or in retraining. The average age is 31 years.
The level of readiness varies quite a bit in the lower division courses, and in one class students can range widely in age, life experience, and familiarity with academic discourses and norms.
We have begun a community of practice for Reading Apprenticeship, and I am one of members of the leadership team.
Summary of Reading Apprenticeship methodology and framework Intersections: RA, reading in college, using an example from career/technical (trades), and information literacy goals Practice an RA-based information seeking learning experience, using timed protocols and shared reading
from Reading for Understanding, p.1
p. 17: “Reading is not just a basic skill. Many people think of reading as a skill tht is taught once and for all in the first few years of school . . . . readers decode (figure out how to pronounce) each word in a text and then automatically comprehend the meaning of words . . . .”
p. 19: “It is a complex process of problem solving, in which the reader works to make sense of a text not just from the words and sentences on the page but also from the ideas, memories, and knowledge evoked by those words and sentences . . . . Fluency derives from the reader’s ability not just to decode or identify individual words but also to quickly process larger language units . . . . When readers are unfamiliar with the particular language structures and features of a text, their language-processing ability breaks down.”
Considering these Dimensions in backwards design for setting up learning experiences about information seeking, and prior to that, the conceptualization of a ‘topic’, the focus shifts from ‘source retrieval’ to ‘meaning making.’
Inquiry requires more work at first than many students realize.
Using a short reading with questions structured to each of the RA four dimensions supports students through the difficult first steps of critical thinking
RA intersects here, with the idea of activating students’ own knowledge stores, ability to problem solve, and the practice of metacognition.
Students continually revise their understandings about this information ecosystem as they gain experience, through disciplinary knowledge and applications to their own lives, especially in the workplace.
Students learning to ask their own questions is as important as them being taught to look for information in specific ways in specific places.
This learning expererience for the Diesel Welding students is tied to a degree outcome of knowing how to identify relevant, and reliable information sources for the workplace.
First pass-- to slow down, be metacognitive about how you work out what a text means, and identify ideas that you react to.
What strategies are you using to figure out what unfamiliar text means? If you get stuck, what did you do, or decide, in order to keep reading? Where did you make a connection?
An instructor running an RA classroom would use this routine several times over the term, with various kinds of readings.
Make note of your problem solving strategies
This routine supports the cognitive dimension, using problem solving, and calling forth thinking strategies
This is a similar routine to the metacognitive tracking for the previous work, but now more focused on what the text is saying, and each reader’s connect to the ideas and facts presented. This would support the Knowledge dimension. Best done live, on a document projector.
Taking time for the Personal dimension, here, to quiet the mind, be metacognitive, and build notes about what you recognize about how you are reading, and what you see in the reading
This routine is for deep listening and often results in insights for both the speaker and the listener. It takes practice, though, to have it work well.
Being listened to provides affirmation of a students’ capacity to know. Hearing feedback, or questions, helps a student identify what they don’t know, and in that, they could find something to explore.
This process supports the thinking necessary to become engaged in inquiry. It circumvents students’ tendency to attempt to devise a thesis before they fully understand a question. When students recognize that their own knowledge stores are key to engaging with texts, and thus information, they are much more likely to gain confidence about the information seeking process and be open to a broader view of it, allowing for iteration.
Neither librarians nor faculty yet fully accept college reading as an academic literacy. Writing instructors often think they are addressing reading in rhetoric, but they are addressing analysis, not comprehension and process.
Similarly, faculty and students assume that “information literacy” is either a set of competencies which merely require access to library tools to apply, or, that it is a basic frame of mind which was learned prior to college or not at all.
Our challenge is to shift this thinking towards the idea of the “information ecosystem” whereby students are metacognitive about what gaps they have in understanding, learning, and gaining new knowledge, and develop their capacity to question sources and produce their own content.
What are you looking for? Scaffolding topic selection - Pamela Kessinger
What are you looking for?
scaffolding topic selection
Pamela Kessinger, Portland Community College,
Introductions whip-around -- if time allows
❖ Your name?
❖ Something you are looking to learn from this workshop?
❖ Reading Apprenticeship (RA)
❖ Intersections with Info literacy
Björn Laczay aka dustpuppy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dustpuppy/78871005/, CC BY 2.0,
College critical reading and information literacy
❖ Are not one time, basic skills, but students (and instructors) still
assume they should just ‘get it’
❖ Intersect at problem solving and require metacognition
ACRL Framework for Information Literacy
“the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the
understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in
creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”
And, IL “draws . . . upon the concept of metaliteracy. . . .in which students are consumers
and creators of information who can participate successfully in collaborative spaces.. . .
[It] demands behavioral, affective, cognitive, and metacognitive engagement with the
“The Framework opens the way for librarians, faculty [and others] to redesign instruction
American College and Research Libraries. American Library Association. 2015. Framework for
Information Literacy for Higher Education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Pam Kessinger and Theresa Love, Portland Community College
Scenario: scaffolding towards topic selection
For example, Diesel welding students, many of whom assume “library work” is something
left to writing courses-- that is, long behind them
Their instructor has required that each identify a topic they will use for locating one
factual, reliable source. They can work in teams.
Why is this important? I’ve got things to
Model: “Think Aloud” while reading a text
Librarian uses a text to demonstrate her/his own (invisible)
Persist in reading
Refeia PRISM I https://flic.kr/p/xwnAc
Silent, shared reading
1. Read the selected text silently, for five minutes.
2. If you finish the text early, re-read it
3. While you are reading, mark the text where you made a move
to persist, solve a problem, or found something you are curious
Model: annotate, ‘talk’ to a text
Librarian uses a text to demonstrate her/his own (invisible)
strategies to capture:
❖ ideas which are new, or interesting
❖ facts which are new
❖ statements he/she questions
❖ where he/she made a connection
➢ understand something
➢ disagree with something
➢ are curious
Individual reflection about the text and your reaction(s)
1. On the left, copy words, or sentences, which you made a connection with
2. On the right, write in your reason(s)
I saw, I heard, I read in the text . . . . I wondered, I made a connection, I thought . . . .
(This reminds me of; I didn’t expect; I think the point
is; I disagree and think instead . . . .)
Share with a partner:
Begin by introducing yourself. . . Without interruption by your
partner, share your connections or questions, from your
Evidence/Interpretation log (E/I)
Second person shares without interruption her/his connections or
questions while the first listens
California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan Los Angeles Regional Workshop. 2012.
Reflect for topic connections
1. Individually review your E/I and any notes you made during
2. Pick a couple of possible phrases, or related ideas, that you
could use in a search for more information
Tom Taker. St Johns Bridge
“final word” protocol--to expand on your phrase
1. First person talks for two minutes, sharing their working knowledge of the phrase
(or idea, or question). The partner listens, without interruption.
2. Second person talks for one minute in response
a. Add to the idea
b. Suggest a correction, or a question
3. 1st person talks for one minute
a. Agree or disagree?
b. Learned something new?
4. Switch roles, and follow the protocol again until everyone gets a chance
2 - 1 - 1
Report out, discussion
What topic statements or questions are emerging?
What new ideas have been sparked?
Did anyone identify strategies which might be needed for
College reading as an academic literacy--
Information seeking as knowledge practice and dispositions--
Metacognition about knowledge and understandings, and gaps--
fear-frozen no more!
What are you looking for? Scaffolding topic selection. LILAC 2016. Dublin, Ireland. Pam Kessinger, Portland Oregon.
Armstrong, S. L., Norman S. and M. J. Kantner. 2015. "What Constitutes College Ready for Reading? An Investigation of Academic Text Readiness
at One Community College." Technical Report Number 1. Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy. 2015.
Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. 2015. Association of College & Research Libraries..
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. 2000. Association of College & Research Libraries.
Kessinger, P. 2015. Course Specific Research Support for DS 103. Portland Community College Library. http://guides.pcc.edu/DS103_CSRS
Kessinger, P. 2013. Integrated instruction framework for information literacy. Journal of Information Literacy, 7(2), pp. 33-59.
Kessinger, P. 2015. RA (Reading Apprenticeship). Portland Community College. http://guides.pcc.edu/RA
Schoenbach, R., Greenleaf, C., and Murphy, L. 2012. Reading for Understanding : How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in
Secondary and College Classrooms. WestEd. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
WestEd. 2015. Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd: Community College Overview. http://readingapprenticeship.org/community-college-overview/
WestEd. 2014. Reading Apprenticeship Framework http://readingapprenticeship.org/our-approach/our-framework/
WestEd. 2015. Reading for Understanding Downloadable Resources. http://readingapprenticeship.org/publications/downloadable-resources/