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Minesh Parekh, Education Officer at University of Sheffield Students’ Union said: “It’s just not true that students find reading whole books too challenging.The reason some students don’t read whole books isn’t because they struggle to, but because of problems with how we’re assessed, and the over-emphasis universities place on assessment.” “This over-emphasis on assessment—as opposed to genuine learning—means that when writing an essay or preparing for exams it makes more sense to read a journal article or a chapter of a book because we’re not given the time or thinking space.” Mr Parekh pointed out that the way in which undergraduates are assessed is according to methods set by the very same professors who criticise their abilities.Why aren't more college students earning degrees in engineering and the sciences?
Students, who hope to be science and engineering majors, get discouraged by their grades, which are significantly lower than students in other disciplines. Male students are more likely to bail because of grades than would-be women STEM majors.
Chantelle Francis, Academic and Inclusions Officer for the Sheffield University English Society, said: “I would argue that it is the time constraints that students struggle with as opposed to the actual material in most cases.
I’m sure that if students had longer to read a text, they’d likely understand it better, because they’ve had more time to engage with it and appreciate it.
Recommending whole books would overwhelm them, she added, and she tended not to do so.
Students have been quick to reject the claims, insisting the reason they struggle to read is because they don't have enough time.