The Importance of College Reading

Professors’ and Students’ Views


  • Pam Hollander Worcester State University
  • Duke Dawson Worcester State University
  • Charlotte Haller Worcester State University
  • Erika Briesacher Worcester State University
  • Caroline Collins Worcester State University
  • Kristina Rearick
  • Elise Lemieux Worcester State University



college reading, student perceptions, interdisciplinary


Professors and students have contradictory views of course reading. Professors believe that reading outside of the classroom is essential in optimizing learning. However, students often find the readings to be time-consuming, not necessary to pass the class, and an option rather than a requirement. We surveyed 449 undergraduate university students and interviewed 17 university faculty to determine the perceived value of reading assignments in college classes. This preliminary study yielded that faculty could benefit from professional development workshops that will help them determine how to incorporate strategies to increase the students’ completion of assigned readings. By investigating students’ thoughts and concerns, professors can better understand how to make assigned readings more attractive to students.