Textbook Reading Hacks: Reading with a Purpose, part 2

In the last post, I discussed how to use the textbook’s chapter objectives to improve learning. This post focuses on an extension of that concept: using the course objectives to drive your learning even further.

Once you have read a chapter and can accomplish the objectives from the authors, ask yourself how to take that same reading and apply it to the course’s goals. First, you need your syllabus.

Our course has 5 key objectives to accomplish by the end of the term. But I challenge you to think even further down the line. Think about future you–5, 10, or even 20 years away. How can what you learn in this class help you be a more effective communicator long after you graduate from UACCM?

Look at our first objective: Practice reflection regarding self-awareness and communication skills. Now, turn that into a question, such as: How can learning X help me be more reflective about my knowledge and communication skills?

Let’s try applying this question to your text. How can learning about the process of communication (chapter 1) help you more effectively reflect about your self-knowledge and communication skills?

One way is that by knowing the components of communication, you can be more able to analyze a situation to determine what parts may need to be improved. Maybe you and a friend miscommunicated about something. Knowing the process of communication, including its many components, can help you isolate variables to see how to not repeat communication errors again later.

Another way is that if you analyze a variety of situations, you may become more self-aware. For example, maybe you have really good conversations in the morning, but by nightfall, you’re zonked! If that’s the case, you are becoming more aware of who you are as a communicator. Keep using these skills to hone your ability to be a more effective communicator.

You can repeat the process with each of the course objectives. When you do, you become more able to not only understand the text, but also able to remember more material.


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