Getting Students to Read Course Material

  • Elizabeth Holbrook
  • Sandy Cassell


To successfully achieve all course outcomes by the semester’s end, higher education professors expect students to bear some responsibility for their learning by reading assigned textbook chapters or articles outside of class. However, studies show that students are not reading assigned content independently. In fact, most students feel it is the professor’s job to cover all the relevant content in class. Previous research has found that holding students accountable through pop quizzes, scheduled quizzes, or graded reading assignments significantly increases reading compliance. This study investigated if low-stakes, guided reading assignments would motivate business students to read the course material before class. It also assessed students’ perceived value of completing the reading assignments. Using an accounting class at Point Loma Nazarene University (N=24) and a management class at Evangel University (N=38), we found that holding students accountable increased reading compliance, even with low point values. This resulted in the professors being able to use class time to expand on key concepts. In addition, we also found a significant increase in students’ perceptions of the value of reading before class if the professor did not spend class time regurgitating the assigned reading material.

How to Cite
HolbrookE., & CassellS. (2024). Getting Students to Read Course Material. Christian Business Academy Review, 19(1).
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