reading assignments

A Strategy for Improving Student Reading Comprehension

When instructors assign readings to students, they generally assume that anyone who has done the reading must know the information in it and that if they don’t, they did not do the reading. In reality, students often have a hard time determining the main

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Why Students Won’t Read—and What to Do about It

One of the most frustrating things that can happen in higher education is that we assign students a reading that is really interesting and important for an upcoming class discussion. We then go on to design the day’s activities around the reading so that students

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How to Power Up Active Reading, Retention, and Engagement

Most academic courses require learners to do some amount of reading to provide background in core concepts, to demonstrate applications and use cases, and to elaborate intriguing new applications and directions—or maybe just to navigate the various prompts and guidelines. But reading is a skill,

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Interactive Reading for Improved Learning

As teachers, we would like to believe that when students do the assigned reading, they will understand the content it covers and so can be tested on it or given new information that builds on that understanding. When students do not demonstrate understanding of a

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Replacing Readings with Podcasts: A Promising Strategy?

Technology offers teachers new options. What about assigning podcasts to replace some course readings? So far, at least in the literature, teachers have created their own podcasts and used them instead of or as supplements to lectures. In a recent study (Oslawski-Lopez & Kordsmeier, 2021),

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An Incentive for Note-Taking

Students take notes on an assigned chapter—one page front and back. In addition to these notes that preview the content, students prepare reflective notes that connect the current reading with other content and generate questions about it. Both sets of notes are turned in and

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The Time Students Spend Doing the Reading

A new survey documents what most teachers already know: students don’t devote much time to their course-assigned readings (Sharma, Van Hoof, & Ramsay, 2019). And that’s not counting students who are doing their very best to get through a course without reading. In this survey,

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why reading quizzes work

Reading Quizzes: Why They Work

The body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of regular quizzes on assigned readings continues to grow. They’ve been shown to raise exam scores in courses from different disciplines, at two- and four-year institutions and with varying quiz logistics (online and in class, for example). It’s

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responsive planning

Responsive Planning Improves Learning and Teaching

Educators concerned with the quality of learning and instruction have called for a greater focus on students’ thinking to inform instruction and have offered a variety of pathways for achieving that aim (Brookfield, 2017; Robertson, Scherr, & Hammer, 2015; Simkins & Maier, 2010; Weimer, 2013).

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