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Prepared for new Dean’s Scholars – September 2, 2010 by Alan Kaylor Cline with the assistance of many wise people 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Prepared for new Dean’s Scholars – September 2, 2010 by Alan Kaylor Cline with the assistance of many wise people 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prepared for new Dean’s Scholars – September 2, 2010 by Alan Kaylor Cline with the assistance of many wise people 1

2 How to learn Meeting with professors What to do and not to do in class How to maximize the university experience 2

3 3 … something you thought you had down:

4 4 “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in high school anymore!”

5 5 There may be no one to

6 6 Wake you up

7 7 There may be no one to Wake you up Tell you to go to class

8 8 There may be no one to Wake you up Tell you to go to class Get you to do your homework

9 9 There may be no one to Wake you up Tell you to go to class Get you to do your homework other than YOU

10 10 … and for the first time in your life

11 11 … and for the first time in your life You may have to study

12 12 Don't procrastinate:

13 13 Don't procrastinate: Some assignments may be given months ahead of due dates – don’t interpret that as off your radar

14 14 Don't procrastinate: Some assignments may be given months ahead of due dates – don’t interpret that as off your radar Most assignments cannot be done at the last minute

15 15 Consider study groups:

16 16 Consider study groups: Nothing reinforces your understanding or alerts you to your misunderstanding of material more than trying to explain it to another person.

17 17 Consider study groups: Nothing reinforces your understanding or alerts you to your misunderstanding of material more than trying to explain it to another person. If you find yourself in a group in which you are doing all of the talking

18 18 Consider study groups: Nothing reinforces your understanding or alerts you to your misunderstanding of material more than trying to explain it to another person. If you find yourself in a group in which you are doing all of the talking or all of the listening,

19 19 Consider study groups: Nothing reinforces your understanding or alerts you to your misunderstanding of material more than trying to explain it to another person. If you find yourself in a group in which you are doing all of the talking or all of the listening, consider a different group. That one may not be helping you or them.

20 20 Show some initiative, consider doing more than just what was assigned:

21 21 Show some initiative, consider doing more than just what was assigned: Ask for extra problems or reading material

22 22 Show some initiative, consider doing more than just what was assigned: Ask for extra problems or reading material Consider assignments as mini-research experiences – they can be open-ended

23 23 Some wise words to consider: “Real learning is a mess. It's not linear and it necessarily involves your puzzling over problems and clearing up confusions on your own.”

24 24 Some wise words to consider: “Real learning is to some extent uncomfortable, because if you're really learning something meaningful, you're likely to be a little uneasy about 'not knowing'. Don't avoid intellectually uncomfortable situations. Seek them out.”

25 25 Some wise words to consider: “The bases on which you're evaluated in school are, in large measure, bullshit. You'll most often be evaluated based on the more trivial aspects of your discipline because they're the easiest and least ambiguous to evaluate. You should evaluate your own depth of understanding based on your ability to apply what you learn in class in ways that you've not been explicitly taught” Professor Robert A. Duke UT Professor in Music

26 26 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE

27 27 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE Just like the strength of a steel beam is measured by loading it until it fails, you will never know your limits until you have pushed yourself beyond them

28 28 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE Just like the strength of a steel beam is measured by loading it until it fails, you will never know your limits until you have pushed yourself beyond them Take a class that’s a stretch,

29 29 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE Just like the strength of a steel beam is measured by loading it until it fails, you will never know your limits until you have pushed yourself beyond them Take a class that’s a stretch, accept a task when you’re overextended,

30 30 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE Just like the strength of a steel beam is measured by loading it until it fails, you will never know your limits until you have pushed yourself beyond them Take a class that’s a stretch, accept a task when you’re overextended, take a lot of hours

31 31 (Very Carefully) Consider FAILURE Just like the strength of a steel beam is measured by loading it until it fails, you will never know your limits until you have pushed yourself beyond them Take a class that’s a stretch, accept a task when you’re overextended, take a lot of hours But know when to recognize failure and what to do to recover if you’ve gone too far

32 32 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you:

33 33 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, …

34 34 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, … Tutors

35 35 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, … Tutors The Learning Center

36 36 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, … Tutors The Learning Center Libraries

37 37 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, … Tutors The Learning Center Libraries The Undergraduate Writing Center

38 38 Lastly, recognize all of the facilities the university has to help you: Professors, Teaching Assistants, … Tutors The Learning Center Libraries The Undergraduate Writing Center The Counseling and Mental Health Center

39 39 … for you to be successful, this can’t freak you out:

40 40 You don’t want the first visit to any professor to be a grade bitch

41 41 You don’t want the first visit to any professor to be a grade bitch so just in case there will be a grade bitch go see the professor about something else first

42 42 You don’t want the first visit to any professor to be a grade bitch so just in case there will be a grade bitch go see the professor about something else first like discussing the material of the class (of all things)

43 43 Some hints about professor visits

44 44 Some hints about professor visits Make a list of questions if there are several

45 45 Some hints about professor visits Make a list of questions if there are several If the meeting is scheduled for outside of office hours, be on time

46 46 Some hints about professor visits Make a list of questions if there are several If the meeting is scheduled for outside of office hours, be on time If the door is closed, knock on the door and wait before entering

47 47 Some hints about professor visits Make a list of questions if there are several If the meeting is scheduled for outside of office hours, be on time If the door is closed, knock on the door and wait before entering Be totally prepared – don’t show up, plop down, and then start fumbling around looking for lecture notes, homeworks, …

48 48 Some hints about professor visits Make a list of questions if there are several If the meeting is scheduled for outside of office hours, be on time If the door is closed, knock on the door and wait before entering Be totally prepared – don’t show up, plop down, and then start fumbling around looking for lecture notes, homeworks, … Remember you are making an impression on this person – hopefully a good one.

49 49 It’s OK to talk about material not actually covered in the class

50 50 It’s OK to talk about material not actually covered in the class You might even ask the professor about his or her research

51 51 It’s OK to talk about material not actually covered in the class You might even ask the professor about his or her research By getting them to talk about themselves, they will think you are very smart

52 52 It’s OK to talk about material not actually covered in the class You might even ask the professor about his or her research By getting them to talk about themselves, they will think you are very smart But you just might find it interesting

53 53 It’s OK to talk about material not actually covered in the class You might even ask the professor about his or her research By getting them to talk about themselves, they will think you are very smart But you just might find it interesting And you might want to visit the professor’s web site beforehand to appear knowledgeable

54 54 Lots of questions can be handled by

55 55 Lots of questions can be handled by … but not questions that are just as easy for you to answer as the professor such as “where is the final exam”, “when is the final exam”, “where is your office”, …

56 56 Lots of questions can be handled by … but not questions that are just as easy for you to answer as the professor such as “where is the final exam”, “when is the final exam”, “where is your office”, … … or questions that were answered in class but you missed because you were late or didn’t come.

57 57 can be wonderful but also dangerous

58 58 can be wonderful but also dangerous Don’t even think about sending mean or accusatory messages to professors

59 59 So what if you miss class?

60 60 So what if you miss class? The university has a few causes (illness, family death, religious holiday) for which class absences are excused and professors generally assist students to make up the work (but not repeat lectures)

61 61 So what if you miss class? The university has a few causes (illness, family death, religious holiday) for which class absences are excused and professors generally assist students to make up the work (but not repeat lectures) Otherwise, all bets are off – you miss, you might get no assistance at all. Certainly you should not expect it.

62 62 So, suppose you really do have a grade bitch

63 63 So, suppose you really do have a grade bitch (but don’t treat the assignments of a grade as simply the opening stage of a negotiating process – this is not a Turkish bazaar)

64 64 The ABC’s of grade bitches

65 65 The ABC’s of grade bitches If your complaint is about a miscalculation, be courteous when informing the professor

66 66 The ABC’s of grade bitches If your complaint is about a miscalculation, be courteous when informing the professor If you are confused about why your answer is incorrect – ASK. You are entitled to an explanation

67 67 The ABC’s of grade bitches If you believe your answer to a question is correct, be very careful:

68 68 The ABC’s of grade bitches If you believe your answer to a question is correct, be very careful: It is possible that you are correct

69 69 The ABC’s of grade bitches If you believe your answer to a question is correct, be very careful: It is possible that you are correct but

70 70 The ABC’s of grade bitches If you believe your answer to a question is correct, be very careful: It is possible that you are correct but It is also possible that you are incorrect and will be exposing your ignorance

71 71 The ABC’s of grade bitches If you believe your answer to a question is correct, be very careful: It is possible that you are correct but It is also possible that you are incorrect and will be exposing your ignorance (if you recognize that that is part of learning, then fine)

72 72 The ABC’s of grade bitches Do not assume you know how letter grades are assigned to performances: a 50% may be an A a 95% may be a B.

73 73 The ABC’s of grade bitches Professors generally hate the process of assigning grades. Show some sensitivity before you pose the answers to which may only be issues of curiosity (e.g., “How many points was I away from getting an A?”)

74 74 The ABC’s of grade bitches Any complaint regarding the assignment of more partial credit is very tricky:

75 75 The ABC’s of grade bitches Any complaint regarding the assignment of more partial credit is very tricky: you do not know how partial credit was assigned

76 76 The ABC’s of grade bitches Any complaint regarding the assignment of more partial credit is very tricky: you do not know how partial credit was assigned even if it was

77 77 The ABC’s of grade bitches Big One: If you believe something has been misgraded deal with it immediately

78 78 … and now time for some more table manners:

79 79 What to do in class:

80 80 What to do in class: Arrive on time

81 81 What to do in class: Arrive on time Show interest

82 82 What to do in class: Arrive on time Show interest Pose questions

83 83 What to do in class: Arrive on time Show interest Pose questions Participate

84 84 What not to do in class:

85 85 What not to do in class: Arrive late

86 86 What not to do in class: Arrive late Create a disruption

87 87 What not to do in class: Arrive late Create a disruption Use a telephone including using it for texting

88 88 What not to do in class: Arrive late Create a disruption Use a telephone including using it for texting Use a laptop without permission or use a laptop for reading mail, surfing the net, …

89 89 Academic Integrity

90 90 Academic Integrity Be sure you understand what is allowed and what is not allowed with respect to co-working

91 91 Academic Integrity Be sure you understand what is allowed and what is not allowed with respect to co-working Without an instructor’s approval coworking is “collusion” and that is considered cheating.

92 92 Academic Integrity Be sure you understand what is allowed and what is not allowed with respect to co-working Without an instructor’s approval coworking is “collusion” and that is considered cheating. Cutting and pasting information from the web is very easy – make sure you do proper attribution

93 93 Academic Integrity Be sure you understand what is allowed and what is not allowed with respect to co-working Without an instructors approval coworking is “collusion” and that is considered cheating. Cutting and pasting information from the web is very easy – make sure you do proper attribution If you are not sure, all you have to do is ask

94 94 … and finally, the most important lessons:

95 95 Realize that your university years may be the greatest period of intellectual growth since you were born

96 96 Doing well in courses must come first

97 97 Doing well in courses must come first BUT

98 98 Doing well in courses must come first BUT There is so much more to a university education than is found in a class or a textbook.

99 99 When else in life will it be so easy for you to

100 100 When else in life will it be so easy for you to Learn to sail a boat

101 101 When else in life will it be so easy for you to Learn to sail a boat Meet a person from the other side of the planet

102 102 When else in life will it be so easy for you to Learn to sail a boat Meet a person from the other side of the planet Speak a new language

103 103 When else in life will it be so easy for you to Learn to sail a boat Meet a person from the other side of the planet Speak a new language Try to rumba

104 104 Many things are pretty easy to do

105 105 Many things are pretty easy to do Have a discussion with a person with whom you have never had one

106 106 Many things are pretty easy to do Have a discussion with a person with whom you have never had one Go to a museum

107 107 Many things are pretty easy to do Have a discussion with a person with whom you have never had one Go to a museum Join a DS intramural team

108 108 Many things are pretty easy to do Have a discussion with a person with whom you have never had one Go to a museum Join a DS intramural team Attend an interesting lecture

109 109 See if EVERYDAY you can do something A lecture A discussion A book … that gives you an absorbing new idea.

110 110 See if EVERYDAY you can do something (maybe some serious fact checking or soul searching) that rids you of an idea you have held but cannot actually defend.

111 111 Decide on some major goals for your university experience

112 112 Decide on some major goals for your university experience Study Abroad?

113 113 Decide on some major goals for your university experience Study Abroad? Second Major?

114 114 Decide on some major goals for your university experience Study Abroad? Second Major? Lead a student organization?

115 115 Decide on some major goals for your university experience Study Abroad? Second Major? Lead a student organization? Publish a research paper?

116 116 Decide on some major goals for your university experience …

117 117 Decide on some major goals for your university experience … and begin thinking and planning now

118 118 Decide on some major goals for your university experience … and begin thinking and planning now because You don’t want to say when you are 50 “I wish I had done x when I was in school.”


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