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I'm planning (somewhat technical, but not very technical) undergrad courses in the fall with relatively little lecturing in class, primarily using class time for group work and discussion (as explained in and as a follow-up to: How to motivate students to do readings). I'm trying to choose reading material that students are more likely to read.

Is there any evidence (preferably actual research, but ancedotal if necessary) that certain "formats" of required reading are more likely to be read by students? Specifically I have in mind the following tete-a-tete's:

  • physical books versus e-books versus online notes
  • free versus low-priced versus expensive books
  • one long book versus several short books

1 Answer 1

One way to get students to read is to assign some sort of assessment in relation to the reading. It could be a quiz, project, paper, or whatever you believe is necessary. They must be required to do something with the knowledge they obtain from the reading in order to motivate them to read it. In many ways the assessment awakens a "need" in the student to read.

To ask today's student to read for the sake of knowledge often does not work. There are too many things competing for their time to read something they do not have have too.