Skimming content not quality: The production of a crowd-sourced database of study notes by university students

Abstract : Study notes have been used by students for many years for the purposes of revision and self-study, enabling them to tackle the most challenging of texts and subject areas. These guides help students to 'skim-read' texts whilst allowing them insight into the structure of the plot and the semantics. Teachers are often critical of these guides: they consider them to be 'shortcuts' for procrastinating students, yet the guides can be of great benefit when integrated into the pedagogical process, becoming powerful tools for student development. With careful planning, skim-reading mechanisms can be applied to learners of any language with positive results. In order to develop a coherent learning strategy, the following questions can be brought into consideration: What skills are required for the study of abridged or synthesized literature? What are the mechanisms that need to be put in place for successful 'skim-reading'? How does this learning strategy affect the cognitive development of the student? What are the possibilities for collaborative work? What are the outcomes of the learning process? To what extent can the skills developed for skim-reading be considered as transferable skills? We will look into learning strategies and especially those that encourage the student-driven production of study guides. Our article will be based on the findings of our "Skim-Reading" project at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes: this project allows for collaborative work leading to the building of a crowd-sourced database of guides, a project which is especially appealing to the upcoming generation of Digital Natives. A key concept in this study will be to consider the appropriate use of tools that are developed both by teachers and by students including blogs, teaching platforms, document servers and social media. This will lead to distinct recommendations on incorporating technological tools into the data-mining process, the collaborative development phase and the promotion of the outcomes. Our research will be punctuated by the analyses and conclusions of leading pedagogues, neuroscientists and teaching professionals in relation to the development of innovative pedagogies and the integration of new technologies to the knowledge and information acquisition process.
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Simon Carolan, Christine Evain. Skimming content not quality: The production of a crowd-sourced database of study notes by university students. Apprendre les langues autrement, Jun 2012, Nantes, France. ⟨hal-00783578⟩

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