How much reading?

Discussion in 'College' started by Coupon, May 13, 2010.

  1. Coupon

    Coupon Rookie

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    May 13, 2010

    How much reading material do people think is appropriate for a college class. I'm a student myself currently, so I'm at the receiving end of all these reading assignments.

    I raise this question to everyone here because I feel like that professors are assigning readings with some odd assumption that their class is the only class that students are taking during the quarter.

    One of my classes requires us to read 4-5 documents that range from 80 to 140 pages each. If I had the time, I would do the readings, but the problem is that this isn't the only class. I'm in 2 internships, I have an extra curricular activity, a club sport, and 4 other classes I'm taking this quarter, so I really can't afford to sit down for 5 hours a day to read so many documents.

    On top of all that, the professor doesn't even mention the readings in lecture, address any of the points brought up in the readings and they're certainly not on the tests. Yet he still wants us to write up a summary of the readings and turn those in at class. The readings are marginally related to the class subject matter, the class is Economics and the readings are about global warming. I can see where he wants us to get with the readings, but he doesn't actually talk about the readings at all, not even the TAs!

    So, going back to my question, how much reading is really necessary for a college level class, and even at that, how relevant should the readings be?
     
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  3. WonderfulLife

    WonderfulLife New Member

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    I'm currently a college student too. My professors also suggest a lot of readings to us. Yes these readings may be difficult and time consuming to read, but I think the point of reading these articles is to enhance your learning. So, there is no standard on how much readings are enough. Instead, ask yourself how much you would like to learn. The more you enjoy learning, the more you will and should read.
     
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  4. Kevin Smith

    Kevin Smith New Member

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    Sep 16, 2017

    I'm a college history professor. I realize that students don't want to read anything, so I keep it short. I've written my own Moodle content pages becuase students won't buy a textbook. I'd say that each content page is about 600 words of information, along with links for other websites and stuff. Usually, my students are assigned three to four content pages per WEEK. And few students ever log in to Moodle to read them.

    I majored in philosophy in college and was an English minor. And I routinely read about 500 pages per week all class combined. In grad school, I devoured at least 200 books per semester and at least 500 articles in the same time frame.

    If you want to learn, you must read. Reading feeds the mind. So in America's near future, we'll be a nation of morons because so few people want to have to read anything. Sad.

    Your prof and TA probably assume that not one student completed the readings, so that's why they don't address them in class. Also, here's the secret to college gen ed classes -- everyone passes. Everyone, regardless of what those students do.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sep 16, 2017

    My literature classes expected us to read one book a week (anywhere from 150-500 pages). Ed classes varied more widely. I had some that had us reading 200+ pages a week and some that had basically no reading.

    I'm in grad school now, and we usually have about eight articles to read. They vary from 4 pages to upwards of 40 pages. It's a really wide range. I learned to skim well in college and to evaluate whether reading something would truly help me. Now, I look at the assignment and figure out exactly what I need. I was able to skip two of the readings this week doing that.
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Edit, written by different people
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Read between the lines, literally. Google synopsis of the books, see if you can find executive summaries. Work with classmates to share the load. If was a student now, that's what I would do.

    In college, there's an expectation of being able to manage your time and if you have to give up pleasures such as going out with friends then it is what it is. If the degree is worth it's weight, it's going to be tough, but worth it. Wait till you have to write a 30000 word thesis, you will have to do so much more reading than what you currently are doing. Not to scare you off college or anything :)

    And no, I doubt college professors talk to each other about the total workload of students. Probably because each students workload is so different with the different combinations of classes.
     
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  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My grad school program wasn't like that at all. We read a lot, and we talked a lot about what we read, but we produced and analyzed a lot as well.

    I had to read a ton for my program. In different languages. Including two languages that I don't know.

    When it came to the classes that I honestly didn't care too much about, or when I had to read articles in German when I have the most rudimentary knowledge of German, I'd use whatever tricks I could. I'd scan, find detailed synopses elsewhere, deeply read relevant portions, and skim the rest. For the classes that really mattered, I'd buckle down and just read. It's not easy, but it's what you need to do in order to learn and be successful in certain content areas.
     
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  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I think the amount of reading required really depends on the class. For undergrad courses, I was always told to expect to do two hours of work for every one hour spent in class. I currently have a child in graduate school, and she is in the process of selecting classes for fall quarter. Some of her classes suggest that she spend 11 hours outside of class for each hour of class time.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I hardly remember what I did/read in grad school. A few papers here and there. Not a huge amount of reading. I did have one professor who had us read something for every class then we'd discuss it for the first half of the class. We all had to bring up a "good point" from the reading so I learned early on to be the first one to bring up a good point (from the beginning of the reading) so I was off the hook for the rest of the class and usually only had to read about a quarter or half the assignment ;)
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Kind of glad this thread was revived just as I'm going back to grad school to finish my principal's license.

    My schooling is online, so there is a TON of reading, sometimes up to three textbooks at a time. However, there is almost always a robust discussion board along with small group projects. The classes are usually intense intervals (seven weeks as opposed to fourteen), and there's a lot of material to cover in that time. The reading quizzes I take tend to be nitpicky, so even after I read the material, I may have a hard time zeroing on the exact correct answer unless I have the Kindle version of my texts (searchable).
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I know this is an old thread, but I recently had a professor tell me to expect about 70 pages of reading per class. Some weeks a lot more, other weeks not as much. That may not include any additional articles or writing papers.

    As a grad student, depending on the classes I'm taking that semester, all I do is read & write papers.
     
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  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2018

    .
     
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  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Well, what are you learning and how are you applying that to your work?
     
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  16. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
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  17. Clas1994

    Clas1994 New Member

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    Jul 17, 2018

    Reading always improve us and our skills. So I think everybody should reading at least 15 minute per day. But it's important to conduct perfect literature, it should be easy to understanding and interesting
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That topic does sound fascinating. Yeah, the sheer volume of materials must seem overwhelming. Hang in there.
     
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  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Wow. How rewarding. Good for you.
     
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  21. txbelle

    txbelle Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2018

    Reading was never the issue for me, I always at least tried to read the assignments. I was usually interested in the topics but how things are written would sometimes get to me. Some textbooks are soooo boring and sitting still long enough to read them would put me to sleep. LOL
    I would rather get the information in shorter bursts, like selected passages in the textbook. Articles online were my favorite because I was already online and could google any extra information on the topics immediately. They were also a little more interesting to read, usually more up to date, and kept my attention longer.

    Congrats!!! I graduate in December 2018 as well, I'll FINALLY have my BA. :)
     
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  22. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2018

    Reading is essential to learning, but time is essential to reading. Also essential to reading are sleep and proper nutrition. Sometimes dorm life is the antithesis of these 3, sleep, nutrition, and reading. Another enemy to reading is the cell phone. Multi-tasked reading, while texting, emailing (if that's still done), You Tubing, and/or web surfing (is it still called that?) places the learning gained from the book into less efficient areas of the brain. Reading requires a non-distracting environment and an efficient posture--a comfy sofa after a hard day of classes might be more conducive to sleep than study; for some, that is still the best posture, but for others, a desk is more efficient. Good lighting is helpful; sometimes study carrels block out the light. Reading is not sustained attention to the text at a prescribed pace, but it also involves times when the mind briefly drifts to further explore the material; this can include seemingly unrelated daydreaming spurred by something in the text--your brain is playing Conjuction Junction at that point by joining new learning to previous learning and by exploring new avenues of use for the new learning. The key, however, is to not over-daydream. The emphasis is on briefly. Breaks are also essential. I've seen several suggestions on when, but basically, don't cram your sitting time. Standing up adds more O2 to your brain, and stretching and walking get the blood flowing.

    A note to college professors: research indicates a more proficient assignment would be student chosen reading, reading that supplements the lessons as often suggested in textbooks or in the notes/bibliography of other books, as opposed to assigned reading.

    A note to educational students: I'd recommend including children's literature to your weekly reading diet. A relaxing trip to the local library can be quite enlightening and preparatory towards your career.

    Another tip for all college students: All your notes in class, I mean all your notes in class, spend time each day reviewing a few of them. You will need this information retained for your upcoming exams. They are nearly impossible to cram for after 4 years of college. And within your teaching profession (and I'm sure in other professions, likewise), the more you already have within your working memory, the more ready you are for new experiences and new learning. This isn't 4 years of passing tests--this is 4 years of preparing for life.
     

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