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Classroom Practices
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  1. Classroom Practices Presented by the Academic and Career Advisement Center 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Time Spent in Class

  2. #10) Do NOT Fall Asleep in Class! • Be aware of your non-verbal communication. • Are you slouching? • How many times have you yawned? • Don’t wear pajamas to class. • Get enough sleep. • The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. • Your brain can’t function properly without sleep. • If you need to, schedule time to sleep. • Don’t “offend the professor”. • Keep your feet on the floor. • Raise your hand when asking a question. • Don’t pass notes/carry on conversations.

  3. #9) Turn OFF the Cell Phone! • In other words, “don’t be rude”. • A ringing cell phone is a rude interruption. • Be considerate of other students • Turn your phone to silent or vibrate. • If you need to take a call, step out of the class to do so. • Resist any temptation to answer text messages. • Or better yet…don’t bring it at all. • Laptop – Turn off sound. • Avoid Facebook, MySpace, etc. • Class time is not appropriate for Instant Messaging.

  4. #8) Turn your work in on time! • Keep track of due dates and assignments. • Use checklists, schedules, or a planner. • Set up an Outlook calendar…pre-program. • Use a system that works for you! • Double check due dates (w/ the professor). • Staying organized is essential. • Individual folders per class…avoid bringing the wrong stuff. • Color code lecture notes. • Prepare notes/books/other materials the night before class. • College-level workload is substantial. • By planning ahead, you can avoid panic and cramming. • If you want results, you have to devote the time. • Stay ahead of the game…incredibly difficult to play “catch up”.

  5. #7) What’s Important to the Instructor? • Usually, he/she is the one who designs assignments, writes exams, and assigns grades. • Think of them like a “boss”. • Think of your coursework as your “job”. • How important are lectures? Assigned readings? Essays? • The course syllabus usually describes how the course will be graded. • Use the professor’s office hours to address your questions. • It goes a long way to show that you are putting forth effort. • Face to face conversation is usually preferred to email or phone contact. • The more specific you can be with your questions, the better. • Listen for points stressed during class • Key phrases like “you need to pay attention to this” • Repetition of facts, concepts, etc. • Mentioned in lecture? Covered in the book? It’s important! • Pay attention to what the professor says as the class is ending.

  6. #6) Ask Questions! Participate! • What’s confusing? Do you need something to be explained again? • Don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Others most likely have the same question, and will appreciate the clarification. • Active participation helps you focus during class. • Professors are more likely to help the students who approach them with questions related to content of the course. • “When does this class get out?” is not an appropriate question.

  7. #5) Take Notes! • Do what works best for you…and… • Keep in mind that what “worked” in previous classes may not be the best method for every course. • Be willing to adapt your note-taking style to best fit the course. • Keep it simple. • Write legibly…you have to be able to read them later. • Use short sentences. Shorthand? • Simple organization is key. Outline? Color code? • Edit your notes soon after class. • Highlight main points. • REVIEW your notes on a regular basis, • Daily is best…or… • Weekly review sessions (Sundays are a great time to refresh/prepare for the week ahead). • RELATE your notes to chapters in the text. • Where do both connect? • Where don’t they connect? • How is this relevant to the big picture? • Refer to the following slides for note-taking guides.

  8. Notes Example: Simple Outline I. United States Aircraft Carriers A) Nimitz Class 1. USS Nimitz a) Detail? 2. USS Abraham Lincoln a) Detail? 3. USS Theodore Roosevelt B) Kittyhawk Class 1. USS Kittyhawk 2. USS Constellation a) Detail? b) Detail?

  9. Notes Example: Cornell Method Note Taking space: Record lecture notes as fully and as meaningfully as possible. Write down what you think is most important. Don’t worry so much about using complete sentences, or having perfect grammar. Left Margin area: As you’re taking notes, keep this column empty. After the lecture, when you are reviewing your notes, you will use this area to reduce the notes you took during lecture to concise, short phrases. Those short phrases will serve as cues for reciting and reviewing the information. These cues will help you locate sections of your notes when you have numerous pages of material. Summary section: You should get in the habit of being able to put lecture content and concepts in your own words. Try writing two complete sentences that summarize the entire page of notes. Image Source:

  10. Notes Example: Mind Mapping

  11. #4) Be Interested in the Lecture Topic! • This may be difficult, at times… • And that’s OK. • You most likely will not be interested in every topic. • You might even have something else on your mind. • Again, be aware of your non-verbal communication. • Posture? • Facial Expression? • Showing up late? • Burying your face in your laptop? • What do these convey about you? • Remember…you are paying for the class so get as much out of it as possible. • Your education is an investment. • Try to relate the topic to your major. Is there any overlap? • You are more likely to remember facts about topics you can relate to areas of interest.

  12. #3) Sit Up Front! • Sitting in the front rows allows you to better see and hear. • Fewer opportunities for distraction. • Pay attention to the lecture instead of people watching or Internet surfing. • You won’t be able to socialize during the lecture. • In a way, your seat up front will “force” you to become engaged in the class. • The professor will see you. • Allows for communication and engagement with the professor. • Body language…sitting up front shows that you’re interested. • It will be easier for you to ask questions.

  13. #2) DO go to Class, and DON’T be Late! • Class attendance is directly linked to academic performance. • Those students who attend regularly, earn better grades. • Staying current with course material is essential. • Changes to dues dates, assignments, and tests are announced in class. • Some professors use attendance when figuring grades. • Many professors use lectures as the main basis for test questions. • Don’t be late! • You want the professor to notice you, but not because you’re late. • Stumbling in late is distracting to other students and to you. • Think “PROFESSIONAL.” • Would you be late to your job? • Would you miss work and not notify your boss? • If you are going to miss class, it is a good idea to contact the professor to learn of missed assignments, or provide them with a reason for your absence.

  14. #1) Last Tip: If You Need Help, Ask. • Ask for help SOONER than later. • It’s better to address concerns early. • That allows you more time to remedy the situation. • Professor • Don’t be afraid to ask. • Visiting office hours is usually best. • Many faculty members are also academic advisers. • ACAC • Advisers are available on a walk-in basis. • Help with career choice, academic skills, course scheduling, etc. • All Campus Tutoring • FREE tutoring for a wide variety of subjects. • Study groups. • Walk-in. • Study Practices • Other? • Resident Adviser or Resident Director. • Dean of Students. • Friends or classmates. • Multicultural Education and Resource Center.

  15. This PowerPoint presentation is the property of Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center. It may not be reproduced without written consent.