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Summer Institute

Getting Students Coming to Class Prepared and Ready to Work


*Hattenberg, S. J., and Steffy, K. “ Increasing Reading Compliance of Undergraduates:  An Evaluation of Compliance Methods.”  Teaching Sociology, 2013, 41 (4), 346-352.

--Asked 423 students to rate the effectiveness of seven reading compliance techniques if they’d experienced them:  1) announced quizzes on the reading; 2) unannounced reading quizzes; 3) required writing assignments on the readings; 4) required journals in which they recorded their reactions to the reading; 5) required completion of questions on the reading; 6) optional reading guides or questions; and 7) being called on randomly in class to answer questions about the reading.  The required methods were rated highest.


Offerdahl, E. G., and Montplaisir, L.  “Student-Generated Reading Questions:  Diagnosing Student Thinking with Diverse Formative Assessments.”  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 2014, 42 (1), 29-38.

--Students in an upper division biochemistry course generated questions from assigned reading, one question for each of 11 readings.  The questions could not be factual but had to describe conceptual problems.


Yamane, D.   “Course Preparation Assignments:  A Strategy for Creating Discussion-Based Courses." Teaching Sociology, 2006, 34 (July), 236-248.

--Describes an assignment that gets students doing the reading before they come to class and participating in discussion during class.


Parrott, H. M. and Cherry, E.  “Using Structured Reading Groups to Facilitate Deep Learning.”  Teaching Sociology, 2011, 39  (4), 354-370.

 --Assigned students to reading groups and assigned them tasks to be completed before coming to class.