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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pulling Back the Curtain on College-Level Literacy Skills

  • Author(s): Hernandez-Jason, Beth
  • et al.

This article outlines the benefits of self-reflection and skill-building exercises in freshman-intensive courses, with particular focus on reading assessment activities. As literacy practices are critical to one’s sense of academic community, all instructors have a responsibility to address writing style, organization and reading skills applicable to a given discipline. This is of particular importance to freshman, first-generation and transfer students who are making the most intensive transition to university life. Prior knowledge assessment benefits instructors in determining skills needs, with students also gaining voice and confidence. Part of the “pulling back the curtain” concept is explaining expectations (via rubrics) and modeling successful practices. This article concludes with an affective reading survey and best practices list.

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