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.

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.