Karen and other listserve members,

We are considering offering speed reading seminars here at ACC.  I would be
interested to know what exactly you do during yours.  It sounds like you've
had a lot of experience and have been very successful.  I envision hour-long
sessions, offered either in the tutoring lab or, if invited by the
instructor, during  content-area classes.  Any advice?

Julie Wauchope
Developmental Reading
Austin Community College

------Original Message------
From: Karen Agee <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: August 25, 2000 2:41:26 PM GMT
Subject: Re: FW: academic success seminars

I second Kathleen Thayer's comments about students who volunteer for a
course or session.  Instead of going "like a quarry slave scourged to
his dungeon," the student who wants to learn something from a session
probably will.

We offer Speed Reading and Effective Study Strategies classes here at
the U. of Northern Iowa.  They're free, last just four weeks, carry no
credit, and are taught by one of the eight Peer Instructorsor by me.
(There are 13,500+ students on campus, so we're spread pretty thin.)  I
honestly don't know why so many students do sign up for and attend these
classes.  Maybe it's the presentation during summer orientation.  Even
though I didn't telephone my 8:00 MWF Speed Reading students to remind
them class would begin this morning (because I'd overbooked all the
classes and didn't have enough stop watches or chairs if everybody
came), there were only a few students missing -- and they registered for
this course back in June or July.  Classes are smaller and attendance
sparser in the spring, so we offer other modes of instruction then.

The presentations we do in the residence halls may or not be well
attended.  If it's for the whole hall, with refreshments provided by the
hall, we can expect at least 50 students to attend.  If it's for just
one house, with no refreshments, we expect from one to 15 students to
attend.  Each Resident Assistant is expected to put on at least one
academic session per semester; though there's a very broad vision of
what counts as academic, we get many requests.  RAs have to write up
each workshop they host, so they try to get as many residents as
possible to attend.  We try to devise catchy titles and clever themes --
but Linda Mayfield ("Shop Till You Drop!") is way ahead of us there!

You know, frankly, I think if you offered speed reading sessions, you'd
have lots of interest.  Perhaps teach students how to preview a chapter
and then use headings to guide their comprehension -- but call it speed

Karen Agee

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
                                   -William Butler Yeats
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