Non-compliant reading at one South African university: views of students and lecturers

  • Kristien Andrianatos
  • Carisma Nel
Keywords: first year students, prescribed academic reading, reading comprehension, non-compliance, textbook.


Reading is crucial in the undergraduate context. Yet, it seems that students do not comply with prescribed reading of their academic textbooks. The purpose of this mixed method study was to investigate students’ and lecturers’ views on students’ non-compliance with prescribed textbook reading. This study was conducted at one South African university and involved students and lecturers from seven faculties. The qualitative data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews and document analyses, and the quantitative data collection method involved students’ reading rates determined by a software programme. The results point to a misalignment between the learning outcomes, textbooks, notes or slides and the assessment activities within modules in the different faculties. Recommendations include moving away from a student deficit perspective, and lecturers receiving professional development to improve the instructional design of their modules so that they can better align the aspects addressed in the study.

Keywords: first year students; prescribed academic reading; reading comprehension; non-compliance; textbook.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570