The role of Kenyatta University in promoting good reading habits among undergraduate students
Ndethiu, Sophia M.
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The problem behind this study was the indication of poor reading habits among undergraduate students. The broad objective of the study was to establish the factors that either facilitated or constrained the promotion of good reading habits in Kenyatta University. The investigation used a survey design to collect data from Kenyatta University in order to find out the role played by administrators, lecturers, students, resources and services in promoting the reading habits of undergraduate students. Three nonprobability techniques namely quota, convenience and purposive sampling were used to determine samples for students, lecturers and administrators at Kenyatta University. Data was gathered using questionnaires, interview schedules, Focus Group Discussion and observation schedule. The subjects included 209 students, 194 lecturers, 13 administrators, 9 library staff and 7 attendants from various university resource centres. Both qualitative and quantitative data was generated. The Statistical Packages for the Social Scientist (SPSS) was used to process the data using frequency tables, charts, graphs and percentages. The conceptual framework upon which the study was based strongly asserts the need to define reading within an interactive view. This view is based on the interactive theory of reading in which good reading habits are seen to result from several interacting factors including the reader himself/herself, the text being read, as well as the total environment in which the reading is being performed. The study findings show that Kenyatta University had factors that both facilitated and constrained the promotion of good reading habits. Among factors that heavily constrained the promotion of students' reading habits were lecture methods and assessment modes that encouraged rotememorization of lecture notes. The study also established that learning support programmes-Communication Skills and Introduction to Creative and Critical Thinking were perceived as very significant avenues of promoting students' reading habits. The study recommends that assessment modes be re-examined in order to focus on approaches that encourage library research rather than rote-memorization of lecture notes. It also recommends that a Kenyatta University policy on promotion of students' reading habits be formulated. On further research, the study suggests that an investigation be carried out to establish how the promotion of good reading habits can be institutionalized and incorporated into teaching, learning and assessment of all subjects of the university curriculum.