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How to get our students to read well is something that most of us think about at some point during our teaching career. Faculty members across the country share this concern as research on student completion of assigned reading has “established compliance with course reading at 20-30% for any given day and assignment” (Hobson, 2004).
Getting our students to read is not an impossible task, and begins with good course design. We should always ask ourselves why we chose a particular reading and how it helps achieve course learning goals.
With effective readings chosen, we can use the following ideas and resources to motivate our students to complete their reading.
In September of 2009 Dr. Darsie Bowden of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse and director of the First Year Writing Program, presented a Teaching Commons workshop on reading strategies. She provided numerous ideas and strategies to engage our students in their reading. Perhaps most important was the focus on helping students understand how to read within each of our own disciplines.
Suggested Resources for Getting Students to Read Effectively
- Getting students to read: 14 Tips (IDEA Paper 40)
- Strategies for Teaching Critical Reading (Peirce, 2006)
- Using Textbooks Effectively and Getting Students to Read Them (Boyd)
Concepción, D. (2004). Reading philosophy with background knowledge and metacognition. Teaching Philosophy, 27(4), 351-368.
Hobson, E. H. (2004). Getting students to read: fourteen tips IDEA Paper, 40.
Retrieved from http://www.theideacenter.org/sites/default/files/Idea_Paper_40.pdf
Nilson, L.B. (2003). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.