They Haven’t Done the Reading. Again.

If you believe the research, on any given day, something like 70 percent of our students come to class having not done the assigned reading. That phenomenon is immensely annoying to most faculty members. Who among us has not faced a classroom full of blank stares, with seemingly no one prepared to answer the well-thought-out question we’ve asked about the reading?

How can we solve that problem? How can we ensure that students are meeting what should be a very basic responsibility?

Well, we can give quizzes. Testing students in class is a good way to make sure they are reading the assigned texts. If students can see very clearly that skipping the reading assignments will cause their grade to suffer, they will make sure they read. But most teachers, myself included, do not feel comfortable giving lots of reading quizzes (despite their benefits). For one, quizzes come off as punitive, treating students like children. In addition, many teachers are loathe to devote a significant portion of class time—and the final grade—to something as seemingly basic as making sure students have done the reading.

So what else can you do if you don’t want to introduce regular reading quizzes? <Read more.>

Via David Gooblar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vitae–Pedagogy Unbound.

One thought on “They Haven’t Done the Reading. Again.

  1. As a student, it is also discouraging when most of the class hasn’t done the reading. I enjoy a really good discussion and it’s often annoying when only 3-5 of us are interacting with the professor. While it may produce a small amount of extra work, have you considered doing a reading-journal-blog type of thing where maybe 10% of their grade is weighted on putting together a blog (doesn’t have to be fancy) and posting weekly about something during that weeks reading that they liked, or maybe that they didn’t understand. Maybe even assign mini-prompts? I know it may be an ambitious suggestion but I think it would be kind of fun to do this and possibly be required to respond to two of my peers blog posts. It would be similar to online class discussion boards except each student has some agency over the look and feel of their blog. It also encourages media literacy!

    Anyways, just wanted to throw in the student voice and tell you that the dedicated students feel the same as you!

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