Online Class: Reading Comprehension 101

Reading is power. Learning to read faster, more accurately, and with greater comprehension is a skill that you need in today's competitive world.

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Course Description

Mastering Reading Comprehension: Unlock the Power of Texts

In an era teeming with information, the ability to decipher, digest, and draw insight from written content stands as a paramount skill. Whether you're prepping for high-stake standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, or GMAT, or aiming to elevate your professional skills, our comprehensive course on reading comprehension is tailored just for you.

With the proliferation of digital platforms, the demand for reading—ranging from technical manuals to online resources—has surged. Both academically and professionally, you are often inundated with an array of materials to read and interpret. Navigating this expansive textual landscape requires not just reading, but effective reading. But what if you could not only understand complex materials but do so rapidly and efficiently?

Our course is meticulously crafted to address the twin challenges of reading: comprehension and speed. It's not about skimming; it's about mastering the art of grasping the essence of texts swiftly. Whether you're an avid reader seeking to refine your skills or someone facing challenges with reading speed and comprehension, our course offers tools, techniques, and insights tailored to all proficiencies.

Consider this: industry wisdom posits that reading one book every month for five years on a specific topic can brand you as an expert in that field. Now, imagine supercharging that potential. What if, with enhanced reading capabilities, you could digest two books in a month, attaining expertise in half the time? Or even ambitiously, four books in just over a year?

The power of reading is undeniable. It's the gateway to knowledge, opportunities, and advancement. In the competitive landscapes of academia and the workplace, reading with precision and speed isn't just an advantage—it's a necessity. Our course isn't merely about reading; it's about empowering you to extract profound insights from texts, fostering a skill that amplifies your potential manifold.

Dive into our structured program and emerge with a transformative skillset. Equip yourself with the prowess to read efficiently, comprehensively, and ahead of the curve. Remember, in the world of texts, it's not just about reading, but reading right. Your journey to masterful reading begins here. Welcome aboard!

Course Motivation

Reading Comprehension is essential for all walks of life

Most people need to read today.  

Whether it is for school to pass a class, for an entrance exam for college or graduate school, or for their profession, reading is the single most important skill you will ever develop. All three examples above demonstrate that reading is considered to be a critical skill. But even more important than learning to read is understanding what is read. 

Why Reading Comprehension Is Important 

Reading is a skill by which we can learn just about anything. The better you read and understand what you read, the better you will do in school, in your job, and ultimately in your life.  

What if you're not that skilled? Then you're in the right place. You're not alone. Many people actually relate better to numbers, or when practically applying their knowledge, than they do by reading and understanding what they read.  

The problem is that no other skill is used more often in life than reading. It is used for school, recreation, and for improving your position at work.  

The good news is that reading and its subsequent comprehension is a skill that can be learned, improved, and assimilated, no matter why you need it.  

As you go through this course, we encourage you to find books on something that you enjoy. Don't force yourself to read books you know you must read. It is better to find books about things that you enjoy for the purposes of this course. Why? Because you will automatically be motivated to read information that is important to you, information that you already find interesting. You will also discover that you already have a certain core knowledge about the subject, so you will see how you can add new bits of information to this core knowledge.  

This is an important step in the process of reading and reading comprehension.

One reason we have difficulty when learning a new topic is that our knowledge about the new material is either non-existent, or is very limited. This makes it difficult to learn something new. As you add to your store of knowledge on a topic you are already interested in, you will see how quickly you can improve your skills.  

This set of skills is transferable. So when you sit down with a new topic, you will understand how your brain works when presented with new material, you will apply methods you learned in the "easy" situation to this more "difficult" situation. Once you understand the process, you will find that learning new material is now easier than it has ever been before.  

Understanding Material 

When we read, we do so with the expectation that we will both understand and remember what we have read.  

Have you ever had the experience of reading something, only to realize after a few moments that you have absolutely no idea what you just read? The truth is that we have all had this experience, and you must take a moment to try to understand why you didn't understand the material. 

  • Are you tired, fatigued, or stressed?
  • Do you know much about the topic you're reading?
  • Have you done any pre-reading preparation?
  • Are you reading in a noisy, distracting environment?
  • Is your mind prepared to read for comprehension? 

When you are tired, you don't read as well, nor understand as fully as you do when you are fully rested. Try reading the material after you have had an opportunity to rest. Many people find that they cannot study very difficult material when they are tired. Rather, they must approach it after they are fully rested. 

Have you any experience with the topic that you're reading about? In order to understand something that we're reading, we have to have something to connect it to. Some people find it very helpful to read a simpler book on the same topic or subject so they can begin to find places to anchor new ideas, terms, and concepts. This can take longer than most other types of reading, but with practice, and within three weeks, you will see a significant improvement. 

It is also a good idea to choose your reading environment with great care. While the dorm study might be convenient, it is likely to be noisy and have a lot of distractions. Even the library could be more of a social gathering arena than a study environment. Consider finding an unused classroom to do your reading for your class. The light is good, it is quiet, no distractions, and you are actually in a physical location and position that signals your body that it is time to learn. 

Pre-reading preparation: This will be covered in great detail in a future lesson. This can be summed up as looking ahead through the reading material. If it is for a class, have you read through the syllabus? Do you look ahead and see what you will be covering? Do you evaluate what you already know about the topic? Pre-reading is not a waste of time. Instead, it prepares you for a more complete understanding of the material that you are reading.
Exam Preparation 

There are few educational environments that do not require a demonstration of reading comprehension proficiency. You will be tested on reading comprehension throughout your elementary and high school career. Then you will be tested for either the ACT, or the SAT exam, or both in preparation for college. Once you enter college you may be further subjected to the ACCUPLACER exam, or something similar, to place you in the appropriate classes your freshman and sophomore year.  

And you're not done yet. There is further reading comprehension testing for the GRE, the LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT. 

As you can see, the further along you go in your higher education career, the more you will be using your reading comprehension capabilities. These skills can be improved at any point in your educational career, and with practice, will remain with you for the rest of your life. 

Job Expectations 

The economy is making it more and more difficult to find a job. The better read and skilled you are, the more choices you have. Many employers are looking for employees who are well-rounded and can do more than one job. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of finding that job. 

Many people who are currently working find that in order to stay abreast of the technology advancements in their industry, they have to read more and more material than ever before in their career history. Because the demands of work are only increasing, this leaves less time to get this type of reading done. In order to stand out in the workplace, learning to read fast and understand what you read is now a critical skill in the workplace. 

Time Required to Make a Change 

This may very well depend on exactly what you wish to improve about your reading comprehension. But, with about 20 minutes of practice each and every day for three weeks, you will see a significant improvement in your reading skills, speed, and comprehension. 

The only way to make sure this happens is to set this up as a priority in your life. After all, in three weeks you can so significantly improve your ability to understand what you are reading that it only makes sense to do it, and do it now. You're taking this course for a reason. Ensure your success by setting aside at least 20 minutes every day to practice the skills you are learning in this course. 

If this course takes you longer than three weeks, you can expect your skills to continue to improve as long as you do the suggested exercises. Once you complete the course, you will want to refresh your skills periodically. 

What You'll Get From this Course

In order to improve your reading comprehension, you will need to work on the following skills: 

  • Increase reading speed without sacrificing understanding
  • Learn decoding skills
  • Improve vocabulary
  • Build world knowledge through reading and relate what you know to what you read, by asking questions as you read.
  • Work on comprehension strategies that include things like prediction, analysis, visualizing, and summarizing.
  • Monitor your comprehension, make sure you do understand what you read, and that the text makes sense. 
This course will help you achieve your reading comprehension goals! 

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,882 votes)

Lesson 1: What is Reading Comprehension?

Reading is a skill by which we can learn just about anything. The better you read and understand what you read, the better you will do in school, in your job, and ultimately in your life. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 1: 20- Minute Reading
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: The Four Modes of Reading

Just about everyone who complains of not being able to understand or comprehend what they just read suffers from one of four basic problems. Additional lesson topics: Reading Comprehension Disorders; Reading Comprehension Problems; Speed Reading Techniques 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Pre-Reading Techniques

This lesson will focus on how to approach reading technical materials, textbooks, manuals, etc. Additional lesson topics: Pre-reading Strategies 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 3: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Pre Viewing Techniques 10 minutes pre reading/ 10 minutes regu
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Paragraph Structure

Reading comprehension is built upon attaching bits of new material to things that you already know. Using pre-reading techniques helps you to develop these connections. Additional lesson topics: Basic Paragraph Structure; Teaching the Main Idea 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 4: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Advanced Pre Viewing Techniques with Paragraphs)
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Types of Reading Material

As you evaluate your reading habits and purposes, you will discover there are a number of reasons for reading anything. Additional lesson topics: Types of Reading 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 5: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Reading Technical Material )
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Develop Ability to Anticipate and Predict

Improving your comprehension is based on the way you approach your material. Additional lesson topics: Read Like a Reader 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 6: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Interactive Reading)
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Vocabulary

One of the very best ways to prepare for a reading comprehension exam, or to improve your overall reading comprehension, is to work to improve your vocabulary. Additional lesson topics: Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 7: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Expanding Your Vocabulary)
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Common Organizational Patterns

When you begin to understand the organizational nature of material that you are reading, you can begin to anticipate its flow. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 8: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Identifying Organizational Structures in Readings)
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Annotation

Being an interactive reader means you approach your reading with questions in your mind. Additional lesson topics: How to Annotate; Strategies to Teach Reading Comprehension 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 9: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Annotation)
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Main Idea/Theme

The main idea of any reading is learned by reading with a questioning mind to determine what the author is trying to say to you. Additional lesson topics: Identifying Topics and Main Ideas 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 10: 20-Minute Reading
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Anticipation in Reading

In this lesson, we will discuss three specific methods of presenting information that requires you to interact with the author. Additional lesson topics: Anticipation Guides 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 11: 20-Minute Reading
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Writing Styles

Some reading situations require that you figure out what the writer is trying to say by understanding the cause (the person or thing that makes something happen) and the resulting effect (the thing that happens as a result of the cause.) Additional lesson topics: Reading Comprehension Questions; Reading Comprehension Techniques 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 12: 20-Minute Reading (change reading material)
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Perspective

This lesson deals with perspective, or point of view, a strategy that writers use to more accurately convey their meaning to their readers. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 13: 20-Minute Reading
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Language and Style

This lesson will cover one more aspect of reading comprehension, language and style, before we move on to improving your reading speed, which will help you get through some of the mandatory reading you're required to do for either school or your job. Additional lesson topics: Identifying Style and Tone 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 14: 20-Minute Reading (change reading material)
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Increasing Your Reading Speed - I

Learning speed-reading techniques applies to people who need to increase their reading speed. Additional lesson topics: Improve your Reading Speed; Speed Reading 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 15: 20-Minute Reading (Practice Reading with your Peripheral Vision)
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Increasing Your Reading Speed - II

Speed-reading is best done when you start with material that is easy for you to read, where it may not matter quite as much how much of the material you comprehend. Additional lesson topics: Improving Reading Speed; Reading Speed and Comprehension 53 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: Lesson 16 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what reading comprehension is.
  • Describe the four modes of reading.
  • Describe pre-reading techniques.
  • Summarize types of reading material.
  • Develop the ability to anticipate and predict.
  • Recognize common organizational patterns in reading materials.
  • Define annotation and main idea/theme.
  • Recognize different writing styles and how to address your comprehension needs.
  • Summarize perspective, language and style when increasing your comprehension in reading.
  • Identify techniques you can use to increase your reading speed and overall comprehension.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Reading Comprehension 101
Course Number: 57700129
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (1,882 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: September 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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