The U.S. classroom, a few guidelines
Compared to classrooms in some countries, United States' classrooms tend
to be informal. There are, however, some very important basic rules:
- Do your homework!
Read critically, form your own opinions.
- Review your notes
from the previous lecture and reading for the day.
- Communicate immediately with professors about any study problems.
- Focus on the task at hand before class:
take a moment of silence to gather your thoughts and mentally prepare yourself to the
- Write any objectives that come to mind at the head of your notepaper:
- preparing for an up-coming test,
- understanding a particular concept,
- gaining a good foundation on a topic
- understanding or reviewing the readings
- Arrive on time for class. Professors do not take lateness
- Position yourself in the classroom to focus on the subject matter;
Consider the best location for:
- asking questions
- seeing visual materials
- discussing--not only with the teacher but also your classmates
- Avoid distractions that may interfere with your concentration
(daydreaming, looking around the room, talking to a friend, passing notes, dozing)
- Evaluate as you listen:
- Decide what is important and should be placed in your notes
and what can be left out;
- Listen long enough to be sure you understand what was said before writing.
- Ask clarifying questions (but wait for "breaks" in the instructor's
- Review your class objective(s) throughout the class period
- Did your objective(s) mesh with the instructor's introductory remarks?
- Has the class digressed from stated objectives, yours or the instructor's?
- Write a "to do" list including
- reviewing difficult concepts;
- joining study groups;
- making appointments with a study pal, tutor, or the instructor.
One resource often overlooked is a classmate who seems to have a good grasp of the
material. If it seem appropriate, seek the individual out for help.
|Periodically ask yourself if the course is meeting your
If you find yourself dissatisfied with a particular class or the course in general,
make an appointment with the instructor to discuss your expectations.
earlier the better.