Presentations

Event Title

Honors Peer Educators and Honors Reading Seminars at Virginia Tech

Date

April 2021

Location

Online

Description

At Virginia Tech, Honors Reading Seminars (UH 2124, 1 credit, P/F) are small, discussion-based classes in which honors students read about and explore topics of interest; practice critical reading, thinking, and communication skills; and build community with other honors students. In a typical semester, students will read three book-length works (totaling about 1000 pages), and they will serve as both Context Presenter and Discussion Leader. Reading seminars are taught by the Honors Peer Educator who proposes the seminar topic, select the course materials, create the reading schedule, facilitate weekly class discussions and activities, and recommend course grades to the Reading Seminar Director. Honors peer educators get training and support through our Honors Student Teaching Practicum (UH 4104, 2 credits, P/F), which they take while teaching a reading seminar. This practicum emphasizes discussion-based teaching; active, collaborative learning; and building student communities through development of personal teaching strengths and understanding of honors students’ characteristics and needs. This session will provide an overview of the program from its director (Paul Heilker) and two cases studies of seminars that are currently being taught by honors peer educators, one focused on nonfiction (Caitlin Bowman) and the other focused on fiction (Thea Torrisi).

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Honors Peer Educators and Honors Reading Seminars at Virginia Tech

Online

At Virginia Tech, Honors Reading Seminars (UH 2124, 1 credit, P/F) are small, discussion-based classes in which honors students read about and explore topics of interest; practice critical reading, thinking, and communication skills; and build community with other honors students. In a typical semester, students will read three book-length works (totaling about 1000 pages), and they will serve as both Context Presenter and Discussion Leader. Reading seminars are taught by the Honors Peer Educator who proposes the seminar topic, select the course materials, create the reading schedule, facilitate weekly class discussions and activities, and recommend course grades to the Reading Seminar Director. Honors peer educators get training and support through our Honors Student Teaching Practicum (UH 4104, 2 credits, P/F), which they take while teaching a reading seminar. This practicum emphasizes discussion-based teaching; active, collaborative learning; and building student communities through development of personal teaching strengths and understanding of honors students’ characteristics and needs. This session will provide an overview of the program from its director (Paul Heilker) and two cases studies of seminars that are currently being taught by honors peer educators, one focused on nonfiction (Caitlin Bowman) and the other focused on fiction (Thea Torrisi).