Archive for October 2008
I need to earn really good grades next semester. What can I do right at the beginning in all of my classes to help me succeed?
The real issue here is to make sure that you read, understand, and keep in mind the course objectives, or learning outcomes, that have been established for the course. Good course design will include overall course objectives and individual lesson objectives. Make sure that your study focuses on accomplishing these objectives. You can do this by reviewing the objectives before you begin so that you will know what to look for as you study. When you have completed a section, review the objectives again to determine if you have fulfilled them. If you are unclear about any of them, review the section again to try to answer your questions.
What are some good ways I can motivate you to regularly check and respond to the e-mail messages I send to you?
If you make it clear at the beginning of the semester that students should be checking their e-mail frequently in order to stay on top of their course work, perhaps you could have greater success.
How can I increase the amount I learn in class without stressing so much about the grade I receive for the class?
If by “learning” you mean trying to memorize the textbook and the teacher’s lectures, then I don’t wonder that you are stressing out. But memorizing material you don’t really understand is not effective learning. If you can see how ideas fit together, how they build on each other, and how they apply to situations in your life and in the world—if you are confident that you really understand the subject—you will be confident going into a test. You will not be stressed about remembering everything because you have created the kinds of associations that reinforce each other.
What are the three best things I can do as a teacher to make the classroom experience a good one for you?
(Adjunct Faculty, Fine Arts & Communications)
Classrooms must be difficult environments to tackle for teachers, since so many different variables are at work. Catering to each student’s specific needs while presenting the material is a daunting task, and inevitably there will be some days when not everything gets through.
Nonetheless, I have noticed definite patterns in my really great classes that don’t seem to depend on subject, class size, or the students’ previous experience.
First: Keep the lights on! Though I love the occasional movie clip or visual aid, please keep that to a minimum. When the lights go down two things happen: I stop paying attention to the teacher and focus on the screen, and I start drifting off. The most engaging part of the lecture is the lecturer. I can read PowerPoints and books outside of class, but when I’m in class, I need to see and hear YOU.