|Scooped by PHardman|
Let's start with the grim news: this NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy) report found that students from community colleges in seven states did not have the reading skills to succeed in college, particularly where their textbooks were concerned, and that instructors in disciplines other than English used workarounds like Powerpoints to simplify course material rather than address their reading problems. Only in first-year composition courses were students taught how to read more complex texts, but students clearly struggled with the increased reading and writing demands of university-parallel writing courses. Members of the committee reached these conclusions by analyzing course syllabi, textbooks, reading and writing assignments, and actual student papers. This is an impressive piece of research by a distinguished panel of experts.
Be sure to download the Reading Complexity Scale on p. 11 and the Context Level Progression Scale on p. 12. Then compare the scales to the reading assignments you give your students. Are we challenging them to develop the skills they need to succeed in upper-level courses in their majors? In the reading they will need to do in the workplace?