I will be teaching a course which starts in a few weeks.
To save time,
I would like to ask the students to read the lab notes
**before** coming to the first class,
so that we can use the time in the first class efficiently.

**Question:**
Is it unreasonable to ask students
to read the lab notes for the first class
**before** coming to the first class?

Some relevant information:

 - The lecture notes are quite short.
   They are around 10 pages long,
   and it should take students at most 1–2 hours to read them.
 - My plan is to post the lecture notes online.
   I will make an announcement in the learning management system
   to notify the students that I expect them to read the lecture notes
   before coming to class.
 - The course will be taught as a *lab* course,
   i.e., students will spend 3 hours each week in the computer lab
   learning basic computer programming and data analysis.
   Throughout the rest of the course,
   students will be expected to read the lab notes as a sort of "pre-lab"
   to prepare them to handle the material in the lab.