Chapter 7 - Interacting with Instructors and Classes.pdf -...

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Chapter 7Interacting with Instructors and Classes1CHAPTER 7: INTERACTING WITH INSTRUCTORS AND CLASSESThroughout this text you have been reading about how success in college depends on your activeparticipation in the learning process. This chapter teaches you how to engage in the learning processthrough interactions with your instructors and other students.Students who actively interact with others in the educational experience are much more successful thanpassive students who do not. Yet relatively few college students consistently interact with their instructorsand other students in class. Typically,only five to seven students in a class, regardless of the class’s size,do most of the participating. Interacting with instructors and participating in class discussions with otherstudents is among the most important steps you can take to make sure you’re successful in college.7.1 Why Attend Classes at All?Among the student freedoms in college is the choice not to attend classes. Most college instructors donot “grade” attendance, and some college students develop an attitude that you can get class notes fromsomeone else or watch a videoof a lecture instead of attending every class. One’s attitude towardlearning, toward going to class, and toward the whole college experience is a huge factor in how successfula student will be.Make it your goal to attend every class—don’t even think about not going. Going toclass is the first step in engaging in your education by interacting with the instructor and other students.Attending the first day of class is especially critical. There you’ll get the syllabus and other handouts, learnthe instructor’s policiesand preferences for how the class will function, and often take notes in an openinglecture.If You Must Miss a Class…If you know that you will miss a class, take steps in advance. Tell your instructor and ask if he orshe teaches another section of the course that you might attend instead. Ask about any handoutsor special announcements.Ask another student whose judgment you trust if you can copy his or her notesask questions ifthe notes are not clear.It may not be necessary to see your instructor after missing a lecture class, and no instructor wantsto give you fifty minutes of office time to repeat what was said in class. But if you are havingdifficulty after thenextclass because of something you missed, stop and see your instructor.The Value of Interaction in ClassAs noted earlier, there are many good reasons to attend every class. But it’s not enough just tobethereyou need to interact with the instructor and other students:Participating in class discussions is a good way to start meeting other students with whom youmay form a study group, discuss class notes, or team up with on a group project. You may meet
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