Test Prep Material

Click Here




Study Guides

   Preparing to Learn
   Class Participation
   Reading Skills
   Preparing for Tests
   Taking Tests
   Writing Basics
   Math & Science

Classroom Participation

Preparing for Classroom Learning

Compared to classrooms in some countries, United States' classrooms tend to be informal.
There are, however, some very important basic rules:

Before class:

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 topic

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
In Class:

Arrive on time for class. Professors do not take lateness lightly

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 stream).

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.

A good strategy of note taking in class will pay off in terms of effectiveness and time savings.

The keys to good note taking are the five "R's" from the Cornell Notetaking System (Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH):

Record * Reduce * Recite * Reflect * Review

You can develop your own system based on a few elementary strategies:

Get a good loose leaf notebook.
This will enable you to add, delete, and re-sequence pages and materials.

Develop an organizational system; include headings, the date, even the number of the class (e.g. 3/34)

any guest speakers' names, including your fellow students' contributions

a system of "sections" to organize your notes Leave plenty of white space for additions

Think in terms of three main sections:

A central space for
identifying the main points
capturing the main ideas
not quoting the lecturer (if you want to quote someone, bring a tape recorder if it is permitted)

a marginal space for editing or annotating what you have written, linking information from the text or other sources, adding definitions
a "condensing" or summary section

Basic elements of presentations:

Basic goals of your presentation
Develop your presentation's topic to a few main ideas
Audience characteristics and knowledge base. Cover mutual ground as a starting point
Compare and adapt the presentation's goals with the interests of the audience

Thesis statement
State where you are going and what you will prove

Convince them with facts and logic

Review and summary when complete;
Summarize what you've told them
Check for comprehension

Questions and discussion

Practice by rehearsing the presentation, recording it, or reciting it to a few friends
Techniques of delivery:

Put your audience at ease with a relevant anecdote or joke, or get their attention with a dramatic gesture or event...
Use personal pronouns in your delivery;
Make eye contact with the audience;
Present your report with a conversational voice though vary it for emphasis;
Use transitions to signal the audience you're moving to a new idea;
Direct questions to your audience to get them more involved;
Conclude by summing up your main ideas, points, or arguments;
Leave time for questions, and invite feedback on
the content (un-addressed, related ideas)
the conclusions
your manner of presentation
Leave your contact information (business card) for further questions
Using visual aids or media:

Call early and make sure hardware is compatible with your software;
and software versions of your documents are compatible with versions of their software
Have several versions of computerized files (on your hard drive, disk, web site, and overhead and/or paper(!) just in case
Come early and make sure everything works and that any media (audio, visual, computer) can be seen, heard, understood by all
Keep all visual materials simple in large text for visibility
Have supportive materials for each idea
Do not distribute handouts, even outlines, before your speech (or the audience will focus on the reading material instead of listening to you

Case studies

What:  Case studies *

are written summaries or syntheses of real-life casesbased upon data and research require you to isolate and think through the key issues involved
against both theory and the larger comparative environment identify appropriate strategies for the resolution of the 'case' weigh the pros and cons of the remedial options/strategies recommend and present a rationale for the best resolution
How: The process to develop a case studies:

define the objective of the case study

identify the important players within the organization, the "stakeholders"
identify other target groups of the organization, whether clients or suppliers

state the official mission of the organization studied
state the historical mission of the organization
state the understood mission of the stakeholders in the organization
scale the importance of stakeholders, whether in decision-making or effect of consequences

outline the formal decision-making process
note informal decision-making processes

identify the process of production or service delivery
identify support mechanisms
identify competitors

What is the organizational context of the profession or of competitors

state the major problem
subsequent problems and implications

role of management
role of production/service providers

identify strategic issues

Identify decisions needed to be made

Identify risk factors
Identify historical precedents

Define remedial options
Compare options as regards pros and cons, theory, risk factors
Make recommendation and justify

Write an executive summary focusing on key elements

Teacher Ratings: See what

others think

of your teachers

Copyright © 1996-
about us     privacy policy     terms of service     link to us     free stuff