ComS 221 Instructional Communication Theory
Dr. Mark Stoner
Reading Log Assignment

 [A] We will all profit most from our weekly discussions if we come well prepared, having not only read, but also contemplated the materials. To ensure that we all carry our load as part of this "learning community," you will prepare a reading log. The writing can be "free writing." That is you are free to discuss the concepts, issues, and arguments raised in the readings that you think are important in ways that help you make sense of the readings. You will not be graded on the "rightness" or "wrongness of any responses, but rather on the demonstration of thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness is marked by such things as questions, comparisons, counter-examples and proposals, applications, heuristics, and synthetic connections with other readings.

Write a response of 300- 400 words for two readings assigned. If I assign more than two readings, you may choose any two of the assigned group to which to respond in writing.

At the end of the log, you will include at least two questions which you will bring to the class discussion. One question may be a low level "knowledge"or "comprehension" question within Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy, or what Feuerstein refers to as an 'input" question. This is a content clarification or comprehension question. Let's say, for example, that the reading refers to a concept you are unfamiliar with, such as Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development." An input level question would be, "To what exactly does the zone of proximal development refer?"

At least one of the two questions MUST be a question of a "higher" order on Blooms taxonomy. This should be a question of comparison, application, or evaluation, for example. These questions are the type that generate discussion about issues on which your peers may have varied opinions. These are questions designed to push the discussion beyond "What did the author mean?" For example, you may ask, "How does use of the zone of proximal development differ from asking student questions that are simply too hard for them?" Learning to construct questions at varying cognitive levels is an important part of instructional communication. Lets teach each other through this process! [B]
(Note: From A to B is 357 words so this is about how long your reading log should be.)

In sum, each log will contain: 1) a response to the readings 2) at least two questions, one of which taps into "high" levels of cognition.

Logs will be graded on a "Done and Thoughtful," "Done," and "Not Done" basis. If you do the log and demonstrate thoughtfulness in your response to the questions, and if you create questions of a "higher" cognitive order, youll receive 3 points. If you do the log, but without a lot of energy or thoughtfulness, and/or ask only "input" level questions, youll receive 2 points. If you do only the log or only the questions. youll receive 1 point. If you do not do the log and/or questions, or if you don't demonstrate having read the material, youll receive 0 points.

The logs will be typed.

For more information about Bloom's taxonomy, see: