Getting students to do the reading

senier's picture

Hello, friends: 

I'm a new faculty member here at UW-M, and will be teaching my first undergraduate class next spring.  I've been told to expect mostly seniors, and am looking for some ideas to help keep them motivated to keep up with the reading.  I've built in some short response papers, etc., into the course schedule.  But I'm also looking for tip sheets and handouts I can give them that will help them read faster (skimming and scanning).  Does anyone know of any such resources they would be willing to share?  Does anyone have any other ideas that I haven't thought of?  I would welcome any suggestions. 

Many thanks,

Laura Senier

Community & Environmental Sociology/Family Medicine

John Thomson's picture

Good question

This is a great question!  One resource might be these handouts put together by Dartmouth. I'm sure there are others I'm not aware of.

Sarah  McDaniel's picture

Good Question

I asked an instructor of a first year seminar course offered through UW's Center for the First Year Experience.  They use the book "Becoming a Master Student" 12th addition, which includes some nice worksheets re: active reading and a one page tipsheet "Reading Fast" that looks great. Your library could probably get this for you.

Sarah McDaniel

cbbundy's picture

Good Question

Sarah, I recall you had also mentioned the materials on the GUTS web site: http://guts.studentorg.wisc.edu/

They have a section on Study Skills and one of the links that caught my eye was at Virginia Tech, http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/sq3r.html where they provide helpful guidelines for reading and studying.

jhenriqu's picture

Encouraging students to do the reading

One solution that I have used to keep students on track with their assigned reading have been to require them to complete brief reaction papers to the assigned reading, and these have to be submitted prior to class in order to receive credit. This not only means that the students will have looked at the material beforehand, but if the class is quiet, you can pull someone's reaction paper and use that as a starting point for a discussion. Another solution has been to require students to complete a short quiz on the material prior to attending class. I've done this several different ways ranging from they get a point if they make an attempt on the quiz, irrespective of score, to they can take the quiz multiple times and their highest score counts towards their grade.