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.>