If you are concerned about your students’ reading habits, why they complete or don’t complete readings, and whether they comprehend the readings, ask them. Here are a few survey questions you can use. In the CITL’s current Faculty Learning Community, “Designing and Building Equitable Large Classes,” participants are surveying their students about their reading practices. One question asks students to rank the following statements on a Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree):
- Completing the readings is helpful to my learning.
- I plan to complete the readings on time.
- I am motivated to complete the readings because I want a good grade.
- I am motivated to complete the readings because I want to learn new things.
- I feel confident I can understand the readings for the class.
Another example question from the FLC asks students why they did not complete course readings:
For this question, please select all options that apply to you.
I could not complete the readings because:
- I did not have access to the readings
- I did not have time, or I ran out of time
- The reading was boring
- The reading was too difficult
- I do not know how to read for class/ class discussions
- I do not see the value of reading for class discussions
- I do not think the readings are necessary for my learning
- (instructor fills in more reasons)
With data from these types of focused questions, you can move forward to create assignments or strategies that target improving student reading practices.