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Adult Learner > Strategies > Explicit Instruction: Online Reading Strategies

Explicit Instruction: Online Reading Strategies


Research shows that, along with traditional reading comprehension strategies, learners use unique strategies to read the non-linear, hyperlinked structure of online texts. When reading online, learners must infer which hyperlink may be relevant to read, make connections within and between linked texts, and interpret multimedia. Defining a goal and questions prior to reading, creating a map of information when reading, and limiting the number of links to explore are strategies to help learners navigate reading on the Internet. This can also help to reduce the strain on Working Memory while reading online and minimize distractions when using hyperlinks.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Instructors can model how they read web-based texts using think alouds with multimedia demonstrations. For example, an instructor can walk students through the process of navigating news sources online to find more information on a given topic to support the development of information literacy. Modeling these processes supports learners' Self-regulation and may help strengthen Foundational Reading Skills. Including skills for web-based reading, like highlighting and summarizing information from these sources or studying graphs, charts, videos and images along with text as a part of their assignments, helps adult learners comprehend the information better, make connections between what they are reading, and prompt the Cognitive Flexibility required to read online. Programs can include visual maps for learners to fill in to track what links and sites they have visited while reading online texts, supporting their Metacognition.