Getting Students to READ: Scaffolding Students’ Reading, Engagement, Analysis, and Discovery through Texts FLC

It is commonly understood that reading plays a vital role in student learning. In fact, many college courses are designed so that students gain their first exposure to new concepts and topics through reading. Not only is reading important for mastery of content, it also seems to help students become better writers, better consumers of information, and better at making connections and discoveries they wouldn’t make simply by attending class. So we worry about studies that suggest that today’s students are not reading (or not reading much), and we are frustrated when students come to class not having completed the assigned reading (or not having fully comprehended it), thus dooming the class activities we have planned.

So, how can we tap into students’ natural curiosity to pique their interest in reading? How can we motivate them to resist multi-tasking and instead immerse themselves in reading? What can we do to support them to read challenging disciplinary texts? How can we gauge the level of difficulty and the quantity of reading they should be able to handle in our courses? What can we learn from the research on reading electronic texts versus hard-copy texts to inform text adoption decisions? These are a few of the questions participants in this FLC, which met during AY 2018-19, explored together as they delved into research and best practices around getting students to learn and discover through reading. Participants implemented new strategies for motivating students to read or scaffolding them to do highly challenging reading, developed new activities and assignments that build on the assigned reading, designed good assessments of students’ reading comprehension, and/or overhauled assigned reading lists.


Earl Brooks (English)
Mariajosé Castellanos, Facilitator (Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering)
Kathy Glyshaw (Psychology)
Janet Gross (English)
Milvia Hernandez (Modern Languages, Linguistics, & Intercultural Communication)
Neha Raikar, Facilitator (Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering)
Jill Randles (Academic Engagement & Transition Programs)
Doaa Rashed (Education)
Paige Rogers (Biological Sciences)

Samples of Work:

Slides from End of Year Celebration

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