Get worked up about assigned reading? So do professors. Is there a story here?

Your humble blogger finds it difficult to speak to a college audience without mentioning his humble opinion about college media coverage of what it’s like to go to college. For example, everybody in your audience goes to class, right? When did you last report on a classroom issue?

Three of my previous posts along these lines are linked at the bottom of this one, so I’ll spare you my complete rant. But I can’t resist passing along this topic I noted in a Twitter chat for professors this week. (I’m not a professor, but I lurk.)

The subject is assigned reading. The question posed: “Given changes in attention spans & how we read (skimming, skipping, etc.), should we change the readings we assign?”

Colin Donohue is an instructor at Elon University and student media adviser at the consistently award-winning Pendulum. And I heartily agree with him: Just do the reading! But Enoch Jacobus, who recently got his doctorate and hopes to land a faculty job soon, responds with a student perspective I hadn’t considered. What if you talked to professors and students on your campus about how much reading is assigned, how much actually is done, and what difference it makes?

As promised (threatened?): links to three previous posts on academic stories:

#BORING! Why do some people love classes you hate?

Why do students really go to college?

Cheating — and other academic stories


About adviserdavid

Student media director, Georgia Southern University

Posted on September 4, 2013, in What to cover. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. David, nice take here. Thanks for posting. I agree with Enoch’s tweet. I try my best not to center a lecture (when I do lecture) on a reading the students were supposed to have consumed before class. I focus the lecture (again, when I do lecture) on additional information they didn’t get in the reading (with a little bit of clarification of the reading, if needed, tossed in). Because it’s true, if I’m going to lecture based straight off a reading I assigned them, then what’s the point of the reading or the lecture at that point? Let’s enhance their education, not duplicate it.

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