“Why University Students Don’t Read: What Professors Can Do To Increase Compliance”
A recent article by Mary Hoeft suggests that “while some professors maintain that responsibility for reading compliance rests firmly on the shoulders of students, others worry that compliance efforts will come back to haunt them on student evaluations” (1). Hoeft’s study is “for those professors who do shoulder some degree of responsibility for motivating students to read (1). By assessing reading compliance in two surveys among first semester freshman in a small Midwestern two-year liberal arts university, Hoeft identifies ways by which professors can motivate engaged student reading and critical thinking. Hoeft found that 72% of her students “rarely or never read assignments on schedule” and allocates this failure to various causes including “poor reading comprehension, heavy work schedule, and spending time on social media” (2). More alarmingly, the article claims that 45% of the reading compliant students failed to demonstrate a basic level of comprehension. In the first study, Hoeft assessed reading compliance of students enrolled in two sections of First Year Seminar, finding that non-readers say professors should do three things to stimulate them to read: 1) give random quizzes; 2) give supplementary assignments that were shared with other students in class; 3) give reminders and make it interesting by introducing the assigned reading in a thought-provoking way. In a follow-up second study entitled “How to get university students to read,” the author finds that giving quizzes and assigning graded journals had the greatest impact on reading compliance and comprehension when compared to frequent reminders of assignment. Hoeft concludes her study by saying that “for professors who believe that reading compliance is integral to learning, it is important to know that there are things we can do to encourage such compliance among students” (15). Ultimately, Hoeft seems to suggest that students will read if they are tested through graded quizzes and journals.
Citation: Hoeft, Mary H. “Why University Students Don’t Read: What Professors Can Do To Increase Compliance” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 6.2 (2012): 1-19.
“Becoming an Engaged, Self-Regulated Reader”
Abstract: The article explains how students self-regulate while reading, describing students' personal beliefs of self-efficacy, task value, and motivation and how these beliefs influence their self- regulated reading; discussing the processes of self-regulated reading (goal setting; selection, use, and monitoring of reading strategies; and self-evaluation); and presenting examples from a summer program for school-aged children where a teacher helped students develop their self-regulated reading. Engaged, self –regulated readers are those who set realistic goals, select effective reading strategies, monitor their understanding of the text, and evaluate progress toward their goals (Martinez-Pons, 1996; Zimmerman, 1986: Zimmerman, Bonner, & Kovach, 1996). Readers' level of self-regulation depends not only on their reading and self-regulation skills, but also on their beliefs about their efficacy to read, the value they place on the reading task, and their motivation to read and learn. For instance, how students monitor their comprehension during a particular reading event will depend on the other self-regulation processes and their personal beliefs. Thus, self-regulation processes, personal beliefs, and motivation are all interrelated and reciprocal. The purpose of this article is to explain how students self-regulate while reading. First, the authors describe students' personal beliefs of self-efficacy, task value, and motivation and how these beliefs influence their self-regulated reading. Then, they discuss each of the processes of self-regulated reading (i.e., goal-setting; selection, use, and monitoring of reading strategies; and self-evaluation). The authors offer valuable advice to teachers and reading specialists on developing and enhancing students' engaged, self-regulated reading.
Citation: Horner, S. L., & Shwery, C. S. (2002). Becoming an Engaged, Self-Regulated Reader. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 102-109.
Round Table Discussions
A central goal of Troy University’s Faculty Development Initiative is to communicate current information regarding best practices for student reading instruction by developing electronic resources to support faculty development. To this end, Troy University’s FDI has started constructing a repository of resources. Recently, the FDI began filming a series of round table discussions that address a variety of issues related to engaged reading. Each of these filmed sessions features six of Troy University’s faculty and specialists as they examine reading practices, challenges and strategies in the humanities, sciences & mathematics and in a non-traditional classroom. Each round table lasts 30 minutes. No doubt, these round tables are excellent resources because they highlight the plans, perspectives and outcomes of faculty molded by experience and expertise within the specific precincts of our own university. You can access these round tables below:
- Engaged Reading in Humanities:
Participants: Hal Fulmer (Moderator), Ben Robertson, John Jinright, Joseph W. McCall, Karena Valkyrie, Teresa Rodgers
- Engaged Reading in Sciences & Mathematics:
Participants: Priya Menon (Moderator), Amy Spurlock, Ben Burrington, Bill Zhong, Janet Gaston, Ken Roblee
- Engaged Reading in Special Student Populations:
Participants: Elaine Bassett (Moderator), Alison Hughes, Kirk Curnett, Kimber Wickersham, Shannon Carolipio, Theresa Johnson
- Discussion on Engaged Reading with Francis Slakey, Author of To The Last Breath, Troy
University’s QEP CRI book for 2013-14
Participants: Hal Fulmer (Moderator), Ben Burrington, Rebecca Whetstone, Kerrigan Mahand
- Discussion on Engaged Reading with Randall Williams, Author and Editor-in-Chief of
Participants: Priya Menon (Moderator), Annette Allen, Tim Buckner, Amber Richards
- Discussion on Engaged Reading with Rod Davis, Author of South, America
Participants: Elaine Bassett (Moderator), Stephen Cooper, Michael Orlofsky, Samantha Loff
We hope that this digital resource will be useful in providing support and enhancing our faculty classroom teaching.
Afternoon with an Author
Did You Know?
Troy University’s Common Reading Initiative
Troy University’s Common Reading Initiative (CRI) book for 2013-14 is To The Last Breath.
Graphic Novels Enter the Science-Literacy Conversation
"A predilection for graphic novels is just one of many "out-of-school literate activities" that offer educators the opportunity to meet students halfway, engaging them in media and social milieux with which they're already comfortable".
Read more of what Amy Wickner has to say at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/bookmarks/2012/10/graphic_novels_enter_the_science_literacy_conversation.html
Culture of Engaged Reading Conference
The National and International Conference on "The Culture of Engaged Reading" is scheduled during the summer of 2014, and will be an expansion of the internal round tables that will further promote the culture of reading at TROY UNIVERSITY. If you’d like to be involved in the conference, please contact Dr. Hal W. Fulmer, Director of QEP or Dr. Priya Menon who is coordinating the faculty development initiatives for the QEP.
"Reading Matters" Interdisciplinary Summer Conference
QEP FDI Overview
The Quality Enhancement Plan is required as part of TROY UNIVERSITY's ongoing regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Troy University’s QEP is focused on creating a culture of engaged reading for our students and is built upon three major initiatives: a Common Reading Initiative (CRI) for first year students, a College Reading Initiative (COLRI) for each college and its major, and a Faculty Development Initiative designed to support both CRI and COLRI efforts through specific faculty-generated materials.
The Faculty Development Initiative has these specific outcomes:
- Plan and implement faculty development activities to ensure successful completion of the QEP student learning outcomes and the outcomes of the Common Reading Initiative and College Reading Initiative implement a continuous cycle of learning opportunity for faculty.
- Communicate current information regarding best practices for student reading instruction to faculty.
- Ensure optimal use of faculty development resources by coordinating college and university wide faculty development offerings as these apply to QEP.
- Promote faculty participation in faculty development activities.
- Promote professional development of faculty and staff as instructors and mentors.
- Coordinate the development of electronic resources to support faculty development as these activities and materials support QEP.
- Faculty will participate in planned programs where they read and discuss their own books and other publications.
If you'd like to be involved with QEP activities please contact Dr. Hal W. Fulmer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Dr. Priya Menon at email@example.com who is coordinating the Faculty Development Initiative for the QEP.