Using Quizzes to Increase Compliance with Assigned Readings
Quizzing to Increase Representation and Engagement
Dr. Melinda Kane
East Carolina University
Many professors affirm that compliance with reading assignments is vital to student learning (Hoeft, 2012). Getting students to comply with assigned readings is no easy feat, since the norm is for students to skip reading altogether. Professors are left, then, to determine how best to compel students to prioritize readings as assigned.
Dr. Melinda Kane, Assistant Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University, implemented weekly quizzes on assigned reading as a part of her pedagogy in 2000. Dr. Kane has perfected the instructional practice over the years. Initially, Dr. Kane chose to give quizzes only in lower level courses, but later expanded use of quizzes to upper division courses as well.
Dr. Kane includes an explicit explanation of the quiz requirement in the course syllabus and discusses the practice thoroughly with students at the onset of the course. Ultimately, using quizzes as a part of instructional practice encourages students to make Dr. Kane’s reading assignments a priority in order to come to class prepared. Students, then, are able to contribute to meaningful class discussion and they affect a key part of their course grade. Additional information is available in the Instructional Practice section as well as potential ways to implement quizzes in the classroom.
Each of the College STAR modules includes a concept map, giving readers an overview of the module content. (A concept map represents information or concepts in a graphical format.) The concept maps show the links between the instructional practice in the module, possible outcomes, and, in some cases, the principles of Universal Design for Learning, known as UDL.
Figure 1, the concept map shown below, illustrates the instructional practice in this module, which is utilizing quizzes to increase compliance with assigned readings. The module outlines how this practice aligns with two of the principles of Universal Design for Learning: Provide Multiple Means of Representation, Principle I; and Provide Multiple Means of Engagement, Principle III. The module also describes how this pedagogical practice looks when utilized, as it outlines Dr. Melinda Kane’s method for implementing quizzes on assigned readings. In addition, the module outlines alternatives for implementation of the practice. Finally, the module examines literature on the topic, confirming the need for such a practice which compels student compliance.
Instructors must examine the factors which affect reading compliance in order to effectively implement the instructional practice of quizzing students to increase the number of students who complete assigned readings. By understanding how the practice aligns with the Universal Design for Learning, instructors can readily decide how to communicate course requirements to students and format quizzes such that students take heed to the pedagogical practice, making reading a priority.
Clicking on the concept map, Figure 1, will enlarge the image.
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Navigation features located at the top and bottom of each screen allow you to move through the module. Clicking on the “breadcrumb trail” at the top of the module screen takes you directly to previously viewed parts of the module, as shown below in Figure 2 in the example from the Charting Student Information module.
Figure 2: A "breadcrumb trail" is located below the title of each page. A "breadcrumb trail" is located below the title of each page.
The navigation arrows at the bottom of each screen take you to the previous or next components of the module. The menu link at the bottom of each screen takes you to the top of the screen where you may view the menu sidebar as shown in Figure 3 below.
Figure 3: Navigation links are also located at the bottom of each page of a module.
Additionally, some links within the text lead to other sections of the module. Please use your preferred method of navigation to proceed to the next section about Universal Design for Learning (UDL).