In order for students to develop mastery in a particular field, there are many component skills they will need to gain in order to be successful. Therefore it can be particularly useful to spend time identifying those component skills and developing assignments or activities that aid students in developing those skills. This process can broadly be referred to as providing scaffolding for your course content.
This provides a basic overview of what scaffolding is and highlights the importance of making component skills explicit for students. Also, see the links to sample assignments at the bottom of the article.
This posting below at five scaffolding strategies to help novice learners: Procedural Guidelines, Partial Solutions, Think-Alouds, Anticipating Student Errors, and Comprehension Checks.
One of the skills that instructors often want students to master is reading the literature in your field, the following are resources to aid in teaching students to do this.
- Teaching students to read journal articles
This article highlights the CREATE method (Consider, Read, Elucidate the hypotheses, Analyze and interpret the data, Think of the next Experiment; Hoskins et al., 2007) for reading journal articles. This method clearly defines the component skills for reading journal articles that can help novices.
- Decoding the Reading of History (Pace 2004)