Analyzing Reading Assessments through a Randomized Trial

Analyzing Reading Assessments through a Randomized Trial

By Anne M. Cizmara Eastern, Kentucky University, and Benjamin Tyler Holt, Graduate of Eastern Kentucky University

College instructors commonly complain that students don’t do the reading. Instructors carefully select readings so that students can master the course subject matter and get the most out of the course, but then students often don’t complete them. This can impact both student learning and also the class flow if students are not prepared for class. Why don’t students read, and what can instructors do about it?

In our paper we discuss existing literature about why students fail to complete the readings. Some of the main reasons students may not read is because they have other time pressures, and they don’t view the reading as essential. Faculty could increase the likelihood of students completing the readings, then, if they increase the perceived benefits from reading. This could include attaching points or some sort of assignment to reading completion.

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The Journal of Political Science Education is an intellectually rigorous, path-breaking, agenda-setting journal that publishes the highest quality scholarship on teaching and pedagogical issues in political science. The journal aims to represent the full range of questions, issues and approaches regarding political science education, including teaching-related issues, methods and techniques, learning/teaching activities and devices, educational assessment in political science, graduate education, and curriculum development.


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