Through the Looking Glass: Metacognitive Reading Strategies in Open Distance Learning

Jennifer J. Roberts, Ignatius G. P. Gous


This paper firstly describes the cognitive processes involved in acts of reading and the importance thereof in an Open Distance Learning (ODL) environment. Due to the fact that reading is a very recent development in terms of human history, there is no dedicated or inborn cognitive ability devoted to reading. Reading is a complex cognitive activity, drawing upon several more basic neural networks such as vision, speech, sensory experiences and motor activity. The question is also asked whether onscreen reading is going to replace paper-based reading. Is the former going to replace the latter? If so, what are the implications for teaching, especially in an ODL setting? If not, what will be delivered on paper, what will be made available online, and what will overlap or be “hybrid vehicles”? In other words – what should be only in paper, what should only be onscreen, and what should be available in both formats? Whatever the answers to the above questions might turn out to be, one thing is clear and that is that all students, whether they read on paper or online and onscreen, need to be taught meta-cognitive reading strategies. Many students whether they are still in school or at university, or simply life-long learners, are poor readers and lack effective reading strategies. This paper therefore indicates that we need to teach our students not only the course content, but also strategies to read effectively in order to master the course content while reading. Therefore we have to teach students how to read the course content we present to them, whether it is on paper, on- screen or on both. If not, we will have to live with the reality of many shattered dreams and crumpled futures.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n3p283

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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