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This question came into my mind when I was attending the lecture of my preceptor. The lecture was on the disorder of childhood psychology to Post RN BScN students. Before starting the formal lecture, the teacher asked the students either they have pre read the topic or not. I was surprised to see that most of the students raised their hands to say yes. I also observed some of students with no hand raise. Furthermore, I observed that the students who raised the hands that they have pre read the material were more confident but less interested in the teacher lecture. I noticed that these students were talking during the lecture with their friends, disturbing other students and replying their emails on their Nook. On the other hand, the students who did not claimed of pre reading were giving full attention on teacher's lecture, showing serious attitude and listening the lecture attentively. Moreover, during the interactive session the students who have pre read were more argumentative and less attentive of the teacher's explanation. They were trying to show that, they have read a lot in pre reading and know everything. However, the students who did not pre read the topic, the purpose of their discussion were to clarify their queries. In the light of this entire scenario, the first question which came into my mind was, is there any importance of pre readings before attending the class? Secondly, is the selection of material which has been emailed was assessed properly? Thirdly, is this possible if some important material could be shared before starting the presentation and then take some immediate reflection on it?
Heiner and Rieger (2012) stated that the point of pre reading is that the students are expected to come in the class prepared with some knowledge. If you re-teach it all, the students will quickly realize that pre-reading is a waste of time and paid less attention in the class. I think that seemingly pre reading is useful for the students. On the other hand, in the class room students become bored and lose concentration, as it was proved from the present scenario. I believe that pre readings are just like spoon feeding because without any efforts student are getting lots of information. Heiner and Rieger (2012) stated that pre reading is "Just-In-Time-Teaching" (JITT) followed by open ended questions, which required a strict timetable for the students. Furthermore, if the students are giving three or four hours in their homes to understand a specific topic, what will be new for the learners in the class? I believe that it is not necessary to read the material before coming to the class, because they will be going to study the same material. In this way, rest of the time could be used for other educational activities.
I feel that the selection of the material for pre reading is also important. I think that assigned pre reading should not target exactly the material which is going to be studied in the class. It will hinder the students' exploration capability and they will be confined in the world of quest. Students should be a strategic reader so that they learn metacognitive, cognitive, social and affective strategies to search the reading material (Nygard, 2011). I think that it will unlock the world of information for them. Nygard (2011) suggested that pre reading should be posted in the context of SQPRS, which stands for Survey, Question, Predict, Read, Respond, and Summarize. I believe that this strategy to post the pre reading will help out for the students to study with the multi-dimensional way.
In the present scenario as the pre readers were passive listener, so I consider that, it is mandatory to pool their attention toward the lecture. So I think that one of the strategies to engage them within the class is that, some readings regarding the topic could be shared with in the class. I believe that in this way the entire learner could be mingled in the learning process simultaneously and become an active participant in the achievement of their educational goals. I think that in this way students will develop directive thinking activities and shared their prior knowledge with their peers. Moreover, I believe that this way creates a challenging environment with in the class and the students will achieve their task in a better and effective way. As the Pollard (2008) stated that challenge students at their own level of competence, so that every students feels excitement at their own edge of learning.
In the present situation, I was an observer and did not encounter the students' point of view. In the support of students who have pre read and did not participating actively, Ajida (2003) stated that pre reading is a reasoning activity, it cannot be measured either the participants shared their amount of information with others; it is the interaction between the writer (Pre reading/text book) and the reader.
From this experience, I learned that pre readings are important to post before the class as they develop the understanding of the topic which is going to be studied in the class. However, I think that it could be modified by engagement of the learner in the class with variant teaching strategies instead of pre readings like group activity, group discussion and reading quiz. It triggered learner's critical thinking and sharing of knowledge with group members and enhances learning.