Students are like everyone else and see to balance their time and energy between the various aspects of their lives. Reading is slow and clunky and takes considerable cognitive energy and time. They must cut out distractions in their environment and spend time focusing. That is a tough thing to do in a world of sound bites and fast paced streaming information.
There are a few things professors can do to help the student when designing their class.
1. Refer to the Reading: Make sure that discussion and assignments require a level of reading and referral.
2. Use Video and Recordings: You can break up the reading by using video and other voice recordings.
3. Use Smaller Articles and Text: Not everything needs to be 20 pages long. Consider shorter text.
4. Use Weekly Reading Summary: Instead of a DQ the student discusses the weekly reading summary.
Reading is a part of higher education but it isn't the main point. The main focus in education, of which reading is important, and therefore the use of text can change. That doesn't mean we shouldn't push students to read and focus for long periods of time but we can fight reading boredom by doing some other things.