Asee peer logo

Development, Implementation And Assessment Of A Progressive Reading Log System

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer - II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.435.1 - 13.435.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Benson Kettering University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development, Implementation and Assessment of a Progressive Reading Log System


Students in upper-level Engineering classes such as Fluid Mechanics often find themselves faced with over 60 pages of reading a week in addition to assigned problems and exam preparation. Since the reading of the textbook is often infrequently assessed, this aspect of course learning is often postponed or omitted. In addition, with this amount of reading, many students quickly find themselves so far behind in the reading that they can no longer catch up. A reading log system where content responsibility is progressively shifted from the instructor’s questions to student identification and reflection has been developed and implemented in junior-level Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics courses to address several of the issues associated with student use of the textbook. The goal of the reading log is to improve student use of resource material and to provide opportunities for students to develop skills in reading scientific material. Reflective questioning, guided identification of key concepts, probing questions and cyclic problems are some of the tools that are used to stimulate student use of the textbook. In addition, the progressive content of the reading logs is designed to transition the student from rote learning to self-reflection and synthesis of understanding. To evaluate the effectiveness of the resource, student surveys and responses to reading log questions have been used to guide its development.


Reading logs are an educational tool used by students to “record what they have read, [1] [2] respond personally to and analyse texts.” Moon lists dozens of different ways in which the reading log (learning journal) can be implemented depending on the objective and scope of its application. The central point for each implementation of the learning journal is that the journal is a device for students to reflect on their contact with content. This is of special benefit since reflection “is seen as a skill that is of benefit to both learners and professionals since it usually [3] results in efficient learning, changed thinking and revision of practice.” Depending on the structure of the assignment, the reading log can be used exclusively for the student to summarize and revise the content covered or it can incorporate guided questions to explicitly promote thinking processes or connections to other subject matter. As such, this process of reflection also [2] encourages metacognition While reading logs are considered accepted practice in K-12 education or in Humanities [4] programs, their use in the Engineering or Physical Sciences is limited. Grumbacher used the journal process to examine the relationship between writing processes and problem solving and found that students who were better problem solvers are better able to use their learning logs as [5] [6] vehicles to synthesize new knowledge. Other authors, such as Selfe and Arbabi and Gibbs , have used these journals as vehicles for engineering students to develop their writing skills while at the same time clarifying their thinking processes and developing problem solving strategies. They also used the journals to encourage the students to identify areas where they [3] needed more help with the material. More recently, Feest and Iwugo reported on the use of a

Benson, D. (2008, June), Development, Implementation And Assessment Of A Progressive Reading Log System Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4204

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015