The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies is a five-day, non-credit mini-course taught on campus by the staff of Harvard’s Bureau of Study Counsel. The on-campus course, taught since the 1940s, has been continuously renovated to blend tried-and-true study strategies with the latest research in cognition, reading, and learning. Strategic Reader is an online, self-paced version of that live course, created by the BSC staff and recently published by Pearson Education. Both courses are open to anyone interested in reading more efficiently and effectively regardless of whether they have a Harvard affiliation.
Aims of the Courses
Both courses are designed for students, professionals, and others who feel overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of their reading or who find that they are not getting what they need out of their reading. The courses help readers to develop a repertoire of active reading strategies. They also help them to cultivate a questioning mindset, to approach a text with a sense of purpose, to consider a text from a writer’s point of view, and to experience a sense of competence and confidence in their reading.
Course Topics and Components
Both courses address ten core topics:
Developing Awareness • Reading with Questions • Discerning Structure • Making Sense • Creating a Summary • Evolving as a Reader • Monitoring Your Understanding • Identifying Text Functions • Trusting Your Wits • Minding Your Memory
Both the on-campus course and the recently released online version include experiential lessons, Guided Eye Movement (GEMTM) videos, practice readings, and metacognitive reflection to help students transfer the skills to their own reading.
Difference between the On-Campus and Online Courses
While both courses have the same aims, the experience of each course is different. The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies offers structure, classroom interaction, and individual support. Strategic Reader offers flexibility, convenience, and extensive practice.
For more information, including dates of the on-campus course and details about registration and fees for each course, click on the tabs below. For information about a time-limited promotion with five months of free access to Strategic Reader, click here.