Complete the Time Use Analysis and Procrastination Rating Scale in (Chapter 2), the Study Skills Survey (Chapter 4) and the Test Anxiety Analysis (Chapter 6) of the Widener Experience Text. Tabulate scores on each scale.
Write a reflection about your scores on each of the scales and strategies that will help you be successful at Widener.
Your submission must have a 250 words count minimum.
FRESHMAN SEMINAR 101
THE WIDENER EXPERIENCE
Revised Edition by Amy Yarlett August 2017
Original Authors: Andrew A. Bushko
Joseph M. Hargadon Caryn L. Holstein
Lanetia (Sam) Noble Emily C. Richardson
Previously Revised by: Jennifer Cullen
Joy P. Dickerson Jeffrey C. Lolli
Scott Rappaport Suzanne Mannes Jayne Thompson
Table of Contents
Introduction 4 Chapter 1 You Are Here. Why? 5
• Widener University 6
• History 6
• Organization & Structure 9
• The Faculty 14
• Why Are You Here? 16
• Setting Goals 17
Chapter 2 The Clock is Ticking 20 • Time Use Analysis 21
• How to Build Your Schedule 23
• The Problem with Procrastination 27 Chapter 3 Courses and Classes in College 30
• Determining and Meeting Expectations 31
• Coping with the Lecture 33
• Effective Note Taking 33 Chapter 4 Study Skills 36
• Study Skills Survey 37
• Learning Styles 38
• SQ3R 41
• Strengthening Your Comprehension 46
• Memory Process 46
• Remembering and Forgetting 46
• Enhancing Your Memory 48
• Note Taking 51
Chapter 5 Your College Text: Reading Is Not Like Watching T.V. 57
• The W.I.D.E.N.E.R. Approach to Your College Text 59 Chapter 6 Test Taking and Test Anxiety 65
• Questions to Ask Before an Exam 66
• Preparing for a Test 67
• How to Take Exams Effectively 68
• All Types of Exams 68
• Essay 69
• Multiple Choice 71
• True False 73
• Examining Returned Tests 74
• Test Anxiety Analysis 76
• Dealing With Test Anxiety 77 Chapter 7 You, Your Advisor, and the Registration Process 81
• The Process: Student Planning 82
• What Courses Should You Take 95
• Glossary of Key Terms 96
• How to Calculate Your GPA 97
• Schedule Worksheet 98 Chapter 8 Academic Integrity 99
• Academic Fraud 100
• Plagiarism 100 Chapter 9 Getting Involved: Life Outside the Classroom 103
Appendix 1: Writing and Reading 106 Appendix 2: Classroom Conduct 113 Appendix 3: Diversity 116
Introduction – Welcome to Widener Getting started in college is like trying to buy a train ticket in a foreign country where you don’t speak the native language and the train schedule is a jumble of places and times. Hoping no one will see how confused you are, you wander around the train station trying to figure things out. You are well aware there are some local customs you should be sensitive to but unfortunately you don’t know what they are. After you’ve tried to read the timetable for the fourth time, you start to have second thoughts about why you’re on this trip at all and with a sinking heart you once more consult your map to figure where you are, where you think you want to go and how you’ll get there. Among the dozens of things you don’t know at this moment, a couple things are very clear: there’s a good chance you will take the wrong train or that you’ll be left at the station when the train you should have been on pulls away. Worst of all, you have the feeling that everyone else in the train station knows how to get where they want to go. So much for the glamour and adventure of travel and, by the way, welcome to your freshman year. Your Freshman Seminar is intended to make getting started in college a little easier. Your Seminar professor will help you understand some of the new words and phrases we use on campus as well as how to read the policies and procedures that can look confusing. Your professor also will introduce you to some of Widener’s local customs and work to reduce your fear of not knowing campus. Most important of all, they’ll help you figure out where you want to go with your college education and what might be the best way of getting there. While you and your Seminar classmates are working on the transition of being a college student, your professor also will actively be engaging you in an intellectual topic of great interest to him or her. It is hoped that through this engagement you will begin to develop the critical thinking, research, discussion, and writing skills essential for success in college. It also is hoped that The Widener Experience will introduce you to the world of ideas that can be found at a university and show you just how exciting this world can be. This text, The Widener Experience, is part workbook and part resource manual. Topics range from how to develop a personal time management plan to finding your way through the University’s structure to understanding Widener’s registration policies and procedures. In many ways this text should serve you well not only during your first semester but through your entire stay at Widener. In addition to the materials in this text, you also will be able to access the Undergraduate Catalog at http://www.widener.edu/catalogs and the Student Handbook can be accessed at www.widener.edu, under current students, as well as materials pertaining to your specific Seminar from your professor. These materials found online, combined with text from your professor, and this book form the complete text for this Seminar. It is hoped you will find this text and your Freshman Seminar useful and even fun!http://www.widener.edu/catalogshttp://www.widener.edu/
YOU ARE HERE. WHY?
The purpose of this chapter is to: • provide a brief overview of the history and organizational structure of Widener University; • help you identify some of the faculty and administrative staff who will be important to your life as a freshman; • cause you to examine your reasons for going to college and to translate your general long-term goals into specific achievable goals for your first semester on campus. Pre-reading questions: 1. Historically speaking how did Widener University grow to be a leading metropolitan university from its roots as a small early nineteenth century select school for boys in Wilmington, Delaware? 2. How many schools and colleges comprise Widener University? 3. What is a dean? 4. What are some of the most important differences between the responsibilities of your Widener faculty as compared to those of your high school teachers? 5. What are your reasons for going to college? How do you think your reasons compare to those of freshmen across the country? 6. Specifically, what do I plan to achieve by the end of the semester?
Probably nearly everyone who has visited a public attraction such as a museum, theme park, or zoo has seen a map of the location with a star on it labeled “You Are Here.” Obviously the purpose of such a map is to give people a sense of where they are in the context of the larger environment. This chapter has a similar purpose and it is hoped that by the end of this chapter you will have a better sense of the larger environment, Widener University, and a clearer idea of where and how you fit into that larger environment.
A Brief History of Widener University Widener was founded more than 150 years ago. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are only six institutions older than Widener and in the entire United States, there are only 38 colleges or universities founded before the year Widener was founded. Consulting the history of Widener University in this text, please answer the following questions.
1. When and where was Widener founded? ____________________________
2. Name three of Widener’s nine predecessor institutions. ________________________________________________________________
3. In what year did the Pennsylvania Military Academy become Pennsylvania
Military College? ________ 4. When did Widener become a university? ________ 5. How many campuses does Widener have? _________
History Founded in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1821, Widener University is composed of six schools and colleges which offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre- professional curricula. A comprehensive, teaching institution chartered in both Pennsylvania and Delaware, Widener is today a three-campus University offering numerous major programs of study leading to the associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees. The University’s schools include: The College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Business Administration, School of Nursing, School of Human Service Professions, and Law Schools.
Widener’s nine predecessor institutions each had different educational missions. The Bullock School (1821-1846) and the Alsop School became Hyatt’s Select School of Boys (1853-1859). It introduced military instruction in 1858 and shortly thereafter changed its name to the Delaware Military Academy (1859-1862). The institution received its universal charter from the Pennsylvania Legislature on April 8, 1862 as the Chester County Military Academy, located in facilities near West Chester. Two months later, on June 26, 1862, the school was renamed Pennsylvania Military Academy (1862-1892). In 1867, the cornerstone for the present Old Main was laid on a newly purchased tract of land in Chester. In order to indicate without ambiguity that the academy was vested with collegiate powers and privileges, the name was changed in 1892 to Pennsylvania Military College (1892-1966). In 1934, Pennsylvania Military College became a nonprofit, nonproprietary institution. In the 1940s and 1950s, the profile of the student body began to change dramatically: World War II Army trainees were admitted to an Army Specialized Training Program as early as 1943; World War II veterans entered in 1946; off-campus living privileges were extended to nonveterans in 1949; and an Evening Division opened in 1954. While in fact there was still a boarding Corps of Cadets, an ever- growing number of civilian students were enrolled in both day and evening programs. In 1965, noncadet boarding students were accepted and in 1966, with the acquisition of the College of Nursing of the Crozer Foundation, the first women were enrolled. In 1966, Pennsylvania Military College officially became PMC Colleges (1966- 1972). The name Pennsylvania Military College was retained for the cadet college and Penn Morton College was adopted for the civilian component. The modern structure of the University was introduced in 1972, when the cadet corps was disbanded and the academic offerings were reorganized into the Centers of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Management, the forerunners of today’s schools and colleges. Concomitant with these changes, the institution adopted the name Widener College (1972-1979) in honor of the Widener family which is as famous for its philanthropy and collections of art and rare books as it is for its contributions to higher education, business, finance, transportation, and thoroughbred horse racing. In recognition of its comprehensive offerings, Widener College became Widener University in 1979. Graduate programs had been introduced in 1967 with a master’s program in engineering, followed by the M.B.A. and then by some 30 additional master’s and doctoral programs. Moreover, the University had, by 1979, expanded from a single campus in Chester, Pennsylvania to a two-campus institution. The Delaware Campus of Widener University was opened in 1976 as the result of an affiliation with Brandywine Junior College (closed in May 1992), whose 40-acre campus was located on Rt. 202, north of Wilmington, Delaware. For the first several
years, the campus in Delaware was shared by Brandywine College and by the Delaware Law School, a formerly independent institution that had been acquired by Widener in 1975. In 1988 Widener University broke ground on its third campus, Widener University School of Law; located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Harrisburg Campus officially opened in the fall of 1989. History Footnotes • The attending physician in the Intensive Care Unit where President Reagan was
taken after William Hinckley tried to assassinate him was William A Knaus, a 1968 Widener graduate.
• The legendary film director Cecil B. de Mille (The Ten Commandments, King of Kings) went to school here for two years in the late 1890’s.
• Polo was established as a university sport in the late 19th century with our team playing in Madison Square Garden against teams from colleges and universities such as Cornell, Yale, and Princeton. On several occasions we were the national intercollegiate polo champions.
• The tombstones around Alumni Auditorium designate locations where seniors on Commencement Day buried their books to show their freedom from academic trials and tribulations. Tombstone dates identify which class buried their books beneath them.
• John Wanamaker, the founder of the Wanamaker’s department store empire, was the President of the Board of Trustees for several years early in this century. General Douglas MacArthur also was a member of the Board of Trustees.
• Joseph R. Biden, Jr, former Vice President of the United States, former United States Senator, and former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has taught regularly at Widener’s School of Law.
• The only college diploma on display at the Hyde Park home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt is an honorary degree we bestowed upon FDR. The diploma is located in the bedroom Roosevelt used when he was a boy. Other distinguished persons to whom we’ve given an honorary degree include Dwight Eisenhower, Edward Teller, Jonas Salk, Walter Annenberg, Barry Goldwater, and Bob Hope.
• The son of President Benjamin Harrison went to school here.
• Six Widener alumni have played professional football including Bill “Reds” Pollock ’35 who was named an All American, Joe Fields ’75 who played for the New York Jets from 1975 to 1987, and Billy “White Shoes” Johnson also from the class of 1975 who played for both the Houston Oilers and the Atlanta Falcons.
• Widener alumni authors include Steve Gillom ’78 who has written three history books while a professor at Yale and Brent Staples ’73 who wrote the best seller Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White. Dr. Staples is a Chester native and now serves as a member of The New York Times Editorial Board.
How the University is Organized Universities are collections of two or more schools and colleges. Widener has six schools and colleges. As a student at Widener, you are both a university student and a student in a specific college or school. For example, if you are an accounting major, you are a student in the School of Business Administration of Widener University; or, if you are a Criminal Justice major, you are a student in the College of Arts and Sciences of Widener. What this means as a practical matter is that you as a student must follow the policies and procedures of your school or college as well as those of the University. Consulting your undergraduate catalog, list below the six schools and colleges of Widener and identify with an “x” the one that is home to your major. Please note that until they declare a major, Exploratory Studies students are members of the University but not of a specific school or college.
My Major is ________________________________
Deans and More Deans
The chief administrative officer of each of Widener’s six schools and colleges is called a Dean. In each school or college, assistant and/or associate deans as well as sometimes department chairpersons report to the dean and assist in the administration of their respective units. Consulting your undergraduate catalog and other campus resources, identify who is the Dean of the schools and colleges listed below and then identify the other administrators listed for the school or college in which you are enrolled.
College of Arts and Sciences Office Location Dean ________________________________________________ ___________
Associate Dean of Humanities _____________________________ ___________
Associate Dean of Sciences _______________________________ ___________
Associate Dean of Social Sciences __________________________ ___________ School of Engineering Office Location Dean ___________________________________________________ __________
Assistant Dean ___________________________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Chemical Engineering __________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Civil Engineering ______________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Electrical Engineering __________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering ________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering _________________________ __________
Chair, Dept. of Robotics Engineering ___________________________ __________
School of Human Service Professions Office Location Dean ____________________________________________________ __________
Associate Dean, Center for Education ___________________________ __________
Associate Dean, Physical Therapy ______________________________ __________
Director, Social Work ________________________________________ __________
School of Business Administration Office Location Dean ____________________________________________________ __________
Assistant Dean for Academic Programs _________________________ __________
Dept. Chair, Management, Human Resource Management, and Sport Management
Dept. Chair, Accounting, Economics, Finance _____________________ __________
Hospitality Management _____________________________________ __________
School of Nursing Office Location Dean ____________________________________________________ __________
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs ____________________________ __________
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Services________________ __________
Exploratory Studies Office Location Director __________________________________ __________
Some Other Academic Administrators You Should Know
In addition to the persons you have identified so far, there are some other academic administrative officers who play important roles in your life as a Widener student. These persons are as follows.
The Provost is the chief academic officer of the University. This means that all academic deans report to the Provost and that she is responsible for all academic programs and policies as well as most student services. Who is the Provost and where is her office located? ______________________________________________________________ The Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs on the Main Campus has a variety of responsibilities, two of which have direct importance to many students. First, the Associate Provost serves as an ombudsman for students. In this capacity, the Associate Provost helps students weave their way through University academic policies and procedures and when necessary assists students in disputed matters or when circumstances arise that threaten to disrupt a student’s education: for example, a severe illness, a car accident, or a death in the family. Who is the Associate Provost and where is her office located? ________________________________________________________________
Your Advisor: Your Academic Connection to the University. Your advisor plays an important role in your life at Widener. He/she is your first stop for any academic concern or issue during your Widener education. He/she will help you understand the purposes of your educational program and will assist you as you formulate your academic and career plans. Each semester you will meet with your advisor to select which courses you will take the next semester. You also will get the signature of your advisor whenever you want to change your schedule, for example, if you want to drop or withdraw from a course. Who is your advisor and what is his/her contact information? Academic Advisor: _____________________________ Office location: __________________ Phone/Email: ______________________ Email: __________________________________
The Administration of Student Services and Academic Support Services
On average students spend fifteen to eighteen hours per week in class. The rest of their time is spent doing other things, for example: attending a group study session in preparation for a test; practicing for a varsity sport; doing laundry; and, driving back and forth from home to get to campus, to name just a few activities. Widener’s faculty and administration considers a student’s life outside the classroom to be an important part of a college education and know well that how students spend their “free” time largely will determine their academic success. Consequently, a number of administrators are responsible for a wide variety of student services ranging from athletics to financial aid to study programs to housing. For each of the following areas, name at least one administrator who has responsibilities in that area, give that person’s title, and identify where his or her office is located. Area Administrator & Title Office Location
Residence Life (someone other than a R.A. or Area Coordinator)
Student Health Services
International Student Services
Faculty So far this chapter has focused primarily on Widener’s organizational structure and its administrators. However, while the various deans and other administrators are important to your experience at Widener, your classroom instructors are more important to your success as a student than anyone else other than yourself. Consequently, there are some basic facts about faculty you should know. Probably, the first thing you would like to know about faculty is how do you address your instructors. Do you call them professor or doctor? What title is appropriate? In most cases either title is correct. Most faculty at Widener hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor. Whatever a person’s academic rank, the title professor is appropriate. Likewise most faculty at Widener have a doctoral degree of one kind or another. In these cases use of the title doctor is appropriate. The two most common doctorates are the Doctor of Philosophy, the Ph.D., and the Doctor of Education, the Ed.D. There are a couple technical exceptions to the rules just mentioned. One is that some faculty have the rank of instructor or lecturer. In all these cases the common practice is simply to use the title professor. Consulting your syllabi, list below the academic rank and the degrees earned for each of the faculty who teach your courses. Also list the same information for your advisor.
Name Rank Highest degree earned
Another thing you should know about your faculty is that they have a far greater degree of responsibility for the courses they teach and the way they teach those courses than did your high school teachers. While it is true that faculty have the responsibility to offer courses that are consistent with those described in the college catalog, it must also be understood that they have a great deal of freedom within those broad guidelines. For example, in colleges and universities, faculty select which texts will be used, what instructional methods will be used, which topics will be stressed and how they will be interpreted, how many and what kind of examinations will be used, and what criteria will be used to grade students. This autonomy is crucial to a faculty member’s academic freedom and is considered to be one of the most important aspects of academic life. Faculty have some important responsibilities in addition to developing and teaching their courses. For example, they each have a number of advisees, they participate in setting academic policies and practices through Widener’s governance structure, and they are engaged in scholarly activities outside the classroom. Faculty tend to be very busy people but you should know that at Widener teaching is the core activity for faculty and is considered to be the most important thing each faculty member does. Thus, you are not “bothering” a professor when you ask questions or pay an office visit. In fact most faculty are pleased when you visit their office during office hours.
President All the administrators and faculty you have identified in the preceding sections of this chapter ultimately report to the President of Widener who is responsible for the overall administration of the university. With over a thousand employees, three campuses, and a multimillion dollar budget, the job of serving as President is a formidable one. Who is the President of Widener University and where is her office located? President: __________________________________________ Office Location: ____________________
Why Are You Here? Each year since 1966 the Cooperative Institutional Research Program based at the Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA surveys tens of thousands of freshmen as they enter college. CIRP’s study of the Widener class that entered in the Fall 2015 reports that students thought the following six reasons were the most important to them in making the decision to go to college. Percentage noting reason Reason as very important
1. To be able to get a better job 96
2. To get training for a specific career 93
3. To be able to make more money 88
4. To learn more about things that interest me 86
5. To gain a general education and appreciation of ideas 79
6. To prepare myself for graduate/professional school 65
On a scale of 1 to 5, how do these reasons for going to college compare to your own reasons?
NOT AT ALL 1 2 3 4 5 IDENTICAL If you have different reasons for going to college, what are they?
What were your reasons for deciding to attend Widener?
First Semester Goals
The preceding section of this chapter focused on “big picture” topics. These “big picture” topics are important because they can provide the overall sense of direction and purpose which is related to success in college. However, at the same time it is just as critical to have a series of short term goals because the “big picture” goal such as graduating from college and getting into law school are accomplished one test, one paper, and one quiz at a time. In keeping with this idea, the purpose here is to help you define what you want to achieve this first semester of your college education. Setting Realistic Goals: The S.P.A.M.M. System Setting realistic goals is difficult because it requires thoughtful introspection and careful planning. To set a realistic goal try the S.P.A.M.M. System. 1. Be SPECIFIC. Instead of saying “I want to get good grades,” say “I want to get at
least a 2.75 G.P.A. and have no grade lower than “C”.
2. Be POSITIVE that your goal truly is what you want to achieve. This is tougher than it sounds because it requires sorting out your values and priorities to find what you really want to do.
3. Be sure that your goal is ACHIEVABLE. Be realistic about what you are able to do. Be very honest with yourself.
4. Carefully plan the METHODS you will use to achieve your goal. This step in goal setting requires the identification of the component parts of the process that get you to your goal. For example, think of all the component parts of the process that would allow you to achieve a relatively simple goal such as “I want to go to the Natalie Merchant concert in Philly next weekend.”
5. Be sure that achievement of your goal can be MEASURED. This step relates back to the first step about being specific and requires that you are able to answer the question “How will you know you’ve done what you said you would do?
With the S.P.A.M.M. system in mind, set three goals you want to achieve in the next two weeks. These goals can be academic or social. For example “I want to arrive on time for each of my classes, including my 8:00 a.m. English class.” or “I want to find out the name of that very attractive person I see in front of the University Center at lunch each day.”
Goal 3. _____________________________________________________________________
Now, set three goals you want to achieve by the time mid-term exams are over. Again, these can be academic or social. Goal 1.
Now, set three goals you want to achieve by the end of the semester. These, too, can be academic or social but because they will take longer to achieve than the goals you have set so far they should be more comprehensive in nature.
Go for it: Plan to be among the best
It helps to set your goals high. One goal might be to strive for special recognition while you are a student at Widener. Widener offers honors and awards to students in their freshman through senior years, as well as awards to graduate students.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING
Pre-reading questions: 1. Why is it so critical to master time management in college? 2. Is lack of time really the problem in time management? 3. What are the benefits of a time schedule and how do you make one? 4. Does it matter when you study as long as you do study? 5. Are there any suggestions to make managing time easier?
The purpose of this chapter is to: • Show you how to analyze your time. • Help you prepare a semester plan, a weekly plan, and a daily plan to assist you in better using your time.
• Help you better understand the demands on your time as a student at Widener University. • Discuss procrastination
Time Use Analysis: Putting Time on Your Mind Analyze how you use your current time based on your current experience. It is important to answer the questions honestly. Reflect what you do or don’t do, not what you think you should or shouldn’t do. YES NO 1. I often study at a time when I am not at peak efficiency due ___ ___ to fatigue. 2. I have failed to complete at least one assignment on time this ___ ___ semester. 3. This week I spent time watching TV, visiting, or napping that ___ ___ really should have been spent otherwise. 4. Often, lack of prioritizing tasks causes me some difficulty in ___ ___ completing tasks on time. 5. Social or athletic events cause me to neglect academic work ___ ___ fairly often. 6. At least once this semester, I have not remembered that an ___ ___ assignment was due until the night before. 7. I often get behind in one course due to having to work on another. ___ ___ 8. I usually wait until the night before the due date to start assignments.___ ___ 9. My studying is often a hit-or miss strategy which is dependent on ___ ___ my mood. 10. I normally wait until test time to read texts and/or review lecture notes.___ ___ 11. I often have the sinking realization that there is simply not enough time___ ___ left to accomplish the assignment or study sufficiently for the test. 12. Often I rationalize that very few people will earn an A/get the project ___ ___ done on time/really read the text, etc. 13. I catch myself looking forward to study interruptions rather than trying ___ ___ to avoid them. 14. I have failed to eliminate some time wasters this past week that I ___ ___ could have controlled. 15. I often feel out of control in respect to time. ___ ___
16. I procrastinated at least twice a week. ___ ___ 17. I find myself doing easier or more interesting tasks first even if ___ ___ they are not as important. 18. I feel I have wasted quite a lot of time — again this week. ___ ___ 19. I study for EACH course I am currently taking each week. ___ ___ 20. I spend some time this week reviewing previous weeks’ notes even ___ ___ when I do not have a test. 21. The time of day that I am the most alert is _________, so I try ___ ___ to study my hardest subject then. 22. I study approximately 1-2 hours out of class for every hour in class. ___ ___ 23. My most sluggish period during the day is _________, so I use ___ ___ these times to relax or participate in sports or hobbies. 24. I often make out daily lists of tasks to be completed, and I prioritize ___ ___ these lists. 25. I use small blocks of time (10-30 min.) between classes to review ___ ___ notes, start assignments, or plan. To calculate your score, score 1 point for each YES from items 1-18, and 1 point for each NO from items 19-25. The higher your score, the more you need a Master Time Schedule. Consider these categories for your score: 15-19 YOU’RE IN DESPERATE NEED OF A PLAN. How do you ever get
anything accomplished? (Or do you?) 10-14 YOU NEED A PLAN. Life could be simpler if you took the time to plan it out. 5-9 A PLAN WOULD HELP. The going could be smoother, and more could be accomplished. 0-4 A PLAN COULDN’T HURT. You’re doing pretty well, but give yourself the
gift of organization, and you may give yourself the gift of more time.
How to Build Your Schedule One of the keys components to being successful in college and in life is to become an excellent manager of your time. The key to accomplishing the goals that you establish is to set up a plan that includes how you are going to use your time effectively to accomplish those goals.
A study time schedule is a weekly plan of when and what you will study. It identifies specific times for studying particular subjects, writing papers, completing homework, and doing any other routine tasks you have to perform to stay on top. If you devise such a schedule, YOU can control how to divide your available time between study and leisure activities. After completing this weekly schedule, we will then transfer the plan to your semester calendar and include other important activities that will occur. This will allow you to see what time is needed to complete upcoming tasks so that you may reschedule your days in order to add other activities.
1. Write “class” in all time blocks that you are in class. Then color it RED.
2. If you have a job, write “work” in all blocks that you are at your job. GRAY
3. If you are involved in sports, clubs, or organizations that meet on a regular basis, write an abbreviation to remind yourself of these commitments. GREEN
4. Write “drive” in appropriate blocks to indicate time needed to get between places. ORANGE
5. Write “eat” in blocks to allow realistic amounts of time for meals each day. BLUE
6. Write “family” and “chores” in blocks allotted for time spent with your family and doing things around your room and home. YELLOW
7. Write “R & R” in blocks to allow for reasonable amounts of time for relaxing. BROWN
8. Allow time in your schedule for things such as haircuts, laundry, doctor’s appointments, shopping, etc. PINK
9. How much time is left for studying????????? PURPLE
Look at the REMAINING HOURS AVAILABLE after all of your class time and other activities are accounted for. Most students will have between 15 and 40 “extra” hours after they have attempted to estimate how much time is required to do all that needs to be done every week. Yet nearly everyone feels there is simply not enough time to do everything that needs to be done.
Why do you think this is so? How are you going to spend your extra hours? If you find that you have more estimated hours for tasks than are available in a week, how are you going to accomplish all that needs to be done in one week? Considering the number of REMAINING HOURS AVAILABLE will there be ENOUGH TIME for you to spend as much time as you need studying?
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 8:00am
11:30pm Subject Subject Subject Professor Professor Professor Office
Telephone Telephone Telephone Subject Subject Professor Professor Office
16 Week Term Plan: use the term planner to plot out important projects, papers and tests to see when the busiest times of the semester are and to plan ahead. Post the Term Planner somewhere so you can visually determine which weeks are busier than others and which have more time to “get a jump start on project/studying”
Monday Tuesday Wednes day
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednes day
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednes
day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednes day
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
The Problem with Procrastination For most college students, procrastination is the worst academic problem they face. Procrastination causes stress. Keeping up with assigned readings, reviewing notes after class, studying well in advance of tests and starting papers early can eliminate the anxiety of procrastination. Procrastination means needlessly postponing tasks until later, and it is really just a strategy that people use to protect themselves from certain fears. These fears usually involve the fear of failing, or even succeeding. Statements like: “I must be perfect,” “It’s safer to do nothing than do the wrong thing,” or “If I do a good job, I may have to do an even better job next time” are common thoughts for procrastinators. Many of us probably would fall into this category if we were honest with ourselves. Overcoming procrastination is a matter of habit and will-power and the only way to cure the problem is to face the fears. What can be done to help overcome procrastination? 1. Reduce distractions – What are your distractions/ Time Wasters?
2. Set daily goals.
3. List tasks to be done in order of importance. Start with the most important or
pressing task first, then move on to the next, etc. 4. Break tasks down into smaller steps. For example, writing a research paper can
be an overwhelming task. If you break it down into little steps and do one thing each day, you will feel less overwhelmed. You can break the steps down as follows: a) choose a topic g) write conclusion b) research topic in the library h) decide on a title c) prepare notecards i) go to Writing Center d) outline paper j) make revisions e) write thesis statement k) prepare bibliography, graphs, etc f) write body of the paper l) type A similar example would be preparing for a four chapter exam a week in advance:
Day 1 – review Chapter 1/outline Day 5 – review notes Day 2 – review Chapter 2/outline Day 6 – overview of all notes & outlines
Day 3 – review Chapter 3/outline Day 7 – test Day 4 – review Chapter 4/outline
5. Set a deadline to complete the task. Set a goal for accomplishing a task. For example your “TO DO” list may say to gather articles for a paper, so set a time frame and manageable goal to have 5 articles by Thursday etc…OR set a goal to work on the project for 10 minutes etc. Often you will find that the 10 minutes goes quickly and encourages you to continue working.
6. Reward yourself for accomplishing a task, taking a test, writing a paper, etc. Rewards are great incentives to complete a project.
Complete the procrastination quiz to see if procrastination is a problem for you and in what area(s) you have difficulty.
YOUR PROCRASTINATION RATING Answer all of the following statements that apply to you. Be honest. TRUE FALSE
1. If I had a difficult task and an easy one to do, I would do the easy one first. ___ ___
2. I don’t like to turn down any requests for involvement. ___ ___
3. I avoid boring tasks. ___ ___
4. I am frequently angry at myself for putting things off. ___ ___
5. I have more work than I could ever possibly finish. ___ ___
6. I feel frustrated by my inability to get a handle on things. ___ ___ 7. Other students do much better work than I ever could do. ___ ___ 8. If I can’t do something right, I’d rather not do it at all. ___ ___
9. If I wait until tomorrow, I’ll probably do a better job. ___ ___
10. Large tasks feel overwhelming to me. ___ ___
11. If you leave problems alone, they often take care of themselves. ___ ___
12. I schedule my study time in advance. ___ ___
13. I have definite times for play and for study. ___ ___
14. Interruptions (such as calls and visitors) while I’m studying bother me. ___ ___
15. I give myself strict deadlines for finishing assignments. ___ ___
16. Once I’ve started an assignment, I often find there’s something I don’t ___ ___
17. I’ve been meaning to do something about time management for a while. ___ ___
18. I often would do a better job if I had more time to spend on it. ___ ___ 19. I like to work on several different projects at a time. ___ ___ 20. I rarely or never skip lunch. ___ ___
SCORING Give yourself 1 point for every TRUE answer in number 1 to 11 and 16 to 20. _____ Give yourself 1 point for every FALSE answer in 12 to 15. _____ Total points: _____ INTERPRETATION 0-5 You are very well-organized and probably get things done on time. 6-10 You procrastinate some, but probably manage to get most things done on time. 11-15 You procrastinate more often than not, and probably miss deadlines and rush to finish other things on time. 16-20 You are a real procrastinator and probably have trouble finishing anything. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT ? ? ? Look at any items on which you scored points and try to devise a plan to overcome this area of procrastination. Write a complete paragraph about a possible plan of attack. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ References McWhorter, Kathleen. (2007). College Reading and Study Skills (10th ed.). Publisher:
COURSES AND CLASSES IN COLLEGE
The purpose of this chapter is to: • introduce you to some of the basic expectations of collegiate level work and to steps you can take to meet those expectations; • help you deal effectively with the lecture method of instruction; • provide specific ways you can take useful lecture notes. Pre-reading Questions: 1. Do you know what your instructors expect of you in each of your classes? How do you know? 2. Where do you sit in each of your courses? Can where you sit affect your grades? 3. Do you take notes in your classes? Do you honestly think your notes will help you when it comes time to prepare for an exam?
COURSES AND CLASSES IN COLLEGE
Determining and Meeting Collegiate Expectations When freshmen arrive at college they generally have only a vague idea of what will be expected of them in their classes. They know that college will be different than high school but they do not know exactly what the differences will be. Thinking about your high school classes and the experiences you have had so far at Widener, list below three differences between your high school classes and your college classes you think are important. High School College 1. _______________________________ _____________________________
2. _______________________________ _____________________________
3. _______________________________ _____________________________ As you work your way through your college education you will become competent in judging what your instructors expect of you and to what degree you are meeting those expectations. Indeed, knowing what faculty expect and how well you are doing is one of the most important success skills you will develop in college. Unfortunately, a significant number of college freshmen do not begin to gain this skill quickly enough to avoid serious academic problems. The following comments are offered to help you discern what is expected of you in your college courses as quickly as possible. 1. Carefully review the syllabus for each of your courses. Take care to note on
your calendar when each assignment is due and when each test or quiz will be given. If this information cannot be found in your syllabi, make sure to get the information in class. Also, make sure you clearly understand the exact nature of the requirements and assignments for your courses. For example, if you have a paper assigned you should have a good idea about the kind of topic you should address, how long the paper should be, what method of documentation you should use, and what types of resources you should reference, etc. If you have a test, you should know if it will be multiple choice or essay or short answer or some combination of these formats. You also should know precisely what materials will be covered on the test. The more you know about your instructors’ expectations the more likely you will meet those expectations and earn better grades.
2. While faculty often will remind you when assignments are due or when a test will be given, this will not always be the case. Many faculty believe that if something is in the syllabus you have been informed and there is no reason to repeat that information in class, particularly if the assignment is to read certain materials by a certain date. One of the most common mistakes freshmen make is to think they have no “homework” because no papers or projects are due immediately and tests are five or six weeks in the future. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a faculty member states in his or her syllabus that you should read chapters 1-5 in your text by September 30, the faculty member expects you to do that reading if he or she mentions the assignment to you in class or not. Moreover, it is highly likely that when a faculty member lectures or makes comments in class it will be with the assumption (or at least the hope) you have done the assigned work. Please do not ignore this.
3. College courses unlike high school courses tend to be lecture centered rather than
textbook centered. A classroom lecture is not just someone standing in front of a group of students and chatting about something. Rather, lectures are a serious effort by faculty to engage students in what they think are important topics. Moreover, it is critical to understand that lectures are not just a repeat of what is in your textbook. Rather, they are a related but independent source of information that represents a faculty member’s best thinking on a particular subject. If you listen carefully to your instructors’ lectures, you will find what they consider important and what most likely will be covered in a test.
4. When it comes to tests, you need genuinely to understand all of the material covered in your courses. This is something your instructors expect without saying it. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that if you know 70% of the material, you will be able to get a C. You won’t. Knowing 70% of the material probably will earn you a D at best.
5. Self-assessment, knowing what you know and don’t know in a class, is considered your responsibility by faculty and is one of the most important skills you will need to learn. In high school you were frequently given feedback about how you were doing in a class. This will not be the case in college. In many of your courses you will have only two or three tests including the final examination. Consequently, you should develop your own way of determining what you know and don’t know in a class. One of the best ways to do this is to get a “study buddy” or join a study group for the purpose of jointly reviewing notes and readings and quizzing each other on course materials at least once a week. Research shows that group study really does improve comprehension of subject matter and that students who study in groups get higher grades than those who do not. You should know at least one name and telephone number of a classmate other than PE with whom you can study at least once a week.
Coping with the Lecture
As mentioned already, college courses unlike high school courses tend to be lecture centered. Thus, if you are going to do well in college, you must be able to learn effectively from lectures. For many students this is not easy but learning from lectures is a skill that can be developed with work and practice. Here are some steps you can take to learn effectively from lectures. 1. Make sure to complete all relevant reading assignments before you go to class.
Doing the reading ahead of time is what your professors expect you to do and they will lecture as if you have done what they have assigned. Your professors will refer to ideas, facts, and vocabulary contained in the assigned readings. If you haven’t read the assigned materials you will miss a significant portion of what a professor is saying.
2. Sit up front in class. There is documented evidence showing that students who sit up front in class get better grades than those who sit in the back of the classroom. The simple fact of the matter is that if you sit up front you more likely will pay closer attention to what your instructor is saying, have more direct contact with your instructor, and be better known to your instructor than if you sit where students are greasing the wall with the backs of their heads.
3. Take careful notes. Because of the centrality of lectures in college courses the notes you take in class will in effect become important textbooks which are equal in value to any volume you buy in the bookstore. There are a variety of ways to take good notes and over time you will develop the method that works best for you. Whatever system you use, you should make sure to do the following.
a) Take notes on only one side of a page and clearly indicate on what day your
notes were taken. These are two small items that will help greatly when you review your notes and when you prepare for tests.
b) Divide your note page into two parts by a vertical line about one-and-a-half to
two inches from the left-hand margin. The wider part of the page to the right of this line is for your lecture notes. The narrow column to the left of the line is called the recall column. The purpose of this column is for key words or questions on the material to be used as a study guide.
A myth persists that all notes should be taken in outline form. An outline has a series of very general categories under which is grouped related, more specific information. Thus, an outline of a lecture might follow this format:
I. First topic A. First main-idea statement 1. First example 2. Second example II. Second Topic
There are at least two problems with using this notetaking system. First, many lecturers do not present their material in a form well enough organized to be outlined this way. Second, you may become so concerned with getting the outline just right that you may miss important information. Instead, you might try the following system: First of all, don’t use numbers or letters unless the speaker is giving you a list organized that way. Do, however, categorize information by indenting and spacing. Main topics are written far to the left and underlined to make them stand out, main-idea statements are indented about an inch to the right, and supporting details are indented to the right under the related main-idea statements. If you cannot figure out at first what the topic is, leave space to fill in later. If you are getting a series of facts without any main idea to tie them together, leave space to fill in the main idea when it becomes clear later. When there is a major break between topics or main ideas, leave two or three lines of space between them to signal the break. This space also is useful if later on you need to add some information.
c) Always write down information a professor puts on the chalk board or on a
PowerPoint. You can be sure that when a professor takes the time to write something on the board or make a PowerPoint, he or she thinks that information is important. Moreover, you also can be sure that such information is highly likely to be included in a test.
d) Develop a system of abbreviation and symbols for words that you will be using frequently in your notes. For example, instead of always writing out the word psychology you might want to use the Greek letter ψ or you might want to use the Greek letter φ for philosophy. Here are some other suggestions.
1) Leave out vowels whenever possible. Example: Lve out vwls
whnevr pssble. 2) Sometimes you can eliminate the ends of words. Examples:
Biology=bio, subject=subj, introduction=intro. 3) Shorten “-ing” to g. Examples: walking=walkg, wishing=wishg.
4) Make use of standard symbols. Here are some common ones:
= equals > greater than ≠ does not equal < less than e.g. for example = identical to i.e. in other words ∴ therefore & and w/o without w/ with etc. and so forth c.f. see also ∆ change
Review your lecture notes regularly. When it comes to lecture notes, many students have a “take and forget” policy (reviewing their notes only when forced to by the impending doom of a test). If you adopt a “take and forget” policy you will find that when you prepare for an exam a good portion of your notes will have become a mystery to you and will confuse rather than help you prepare. A sensible alternative to “take and forget” is regular review and recitation. Here’s what you should do.
Preferably within 24 hours of when you took lecture notes but certainly no later than before the next time this class meets, review your notes and do the following • clarify any unclear notes and fill in any gaps you might discover; • highlight information that seems important to you or that the instructor
stressed; • in the left hand margin on each page of your notes, the recall column,
write organizing statements about your notes. For example, if your government and politics professor lectured about four qualities of presidential leadership, in the recall column write qualities of presidential leadership. If your economics professor lectured about how the Gross Domestic Product is calculated, in your recall column write calculation of GDP. Whatever the subject is, the basic idea is to give structure and focus to your notes;
• using the organizing statements you just wrote in the recall column, ask yourself questions about your notes and answer those questions without looking at your notes. Most important of all, do this out loud. That’s right, talk to yourself. Better yet, do your questions and answers with a “study buddy” or in a group.
Research clearly shows that if you regularly review your notes according to the four steps listed above, your memory of your lecture notes will be nearly 100% greater than if you used a “take and forget” method with your notes.
4. One final note about learning effectively from lectures: go to class. It’s awfully
hard to learn from a lecture when you’re not there to hear it.
S T U D Y S K I L L S
In this chapter, you will learn about: • discovering your learning style
• how to read your textbooks more effectively • how to improve comprehension • tips to improve memory • how to improve note-taking skills Pre-reading questions: 1. What is SQ3R? 2. What are the ways you can improve your comprehension? 3. Are there ways you can improve your memory? If so, what are they? 4. What is a learning style? How would you describe the way you learn? 5. How can I take better notes?
Study Skills Survey
Please complete the survey below and answer the questions as honestly as possible.
1. I fall asleep or daydream when I read. _____ _____ 2. I skip reading the preface and/or introduction and I rarely look at _____ _____ diagrams, pictures, case studies or summaries in the book unless they are assigned.
3. I rarely ask the professor questions about material I don’t ._____ _____ understand. 4. I only study alone and I doubt I’ll ever seek out a tutor. _____ _____ 5. I cram for tests instead of studying over a period of time. _____ _____ 6. I never answer the questions at the end of the chapter or in the _____ _____ workbook that accompanies my textbook.
7. I listen to the radio or TV when I study. _____ _____ 8. My study periods are interrupted by the phone, family or friends. _____ _____ 9. I attend every class and I sit in the front of the class. _____ _____ 10. I outline my chapters or put information on notecards. _____ _____ 11. I review notes before and/or after class. _____ _____ 12. I give myself a reward after I do my assignments. _____ _____ 13. I read my assigned chapters before class so I will understand _____ _____ what is covered in class.
14. I summarize paragraphs or jot down notes in the margins of _____ _____ my book.
15. I make up possible test questions as I am studying. _____ _____ 16. I make sure I study at the times of day I am most alert. _____ _____ 17. I use blocks of time between classes to study. _____ _____ 18. I use some memory tricks to help remember what I study. _____ _____ If you answered “YES” to any of the statements #1 through #8, or “NO” to any of the statements #9 through #18, you need to improve your study skills in those areas.
When we talk about learning style we mean the style by which you are most comfortable acquiring and most likely to remember information. Many people use a combination of learning styles but often there is one style that is your preference. The more you know about and understand your learning style the more you can work with it to help enhance your learning and recall of information. The learning style inventory below can help you determine your preferred learning style.
Learning Style Inventory To better understand how you prefer to learn and process information, print out this page and place a check in the appropriate space after each statement below, then use the scoring grid on the next page to evaluate your responses. Use what you learn from your scores to better develop learning strategies that are best suited to your particular learning style. This 24-item survey is not timed. Respond to each statement as honestly as you can.
Often Sometimes Seldom
1. I can remember best about a subject by listening to a lecture that includes information, explanations and discussion.
2. I prefer to see information written on a chalkboard and supplemented by visual aids and assigned readings.
3. I like to write things down or to take notes for visual review.
4. I prefer to use posters, models, or actual practice and other activities in class.
5. I require explanations of diagrams, graphs, or visual directions.
6. I enjoy working with my hands or making things.
7. I am skillful with and enjoy developing and making graphs and charts.
8. I can tell if sounds match when presented with pairs of sounds.
9. I can remember best by writing things down several times.
10. I can easily understand and follow directions on a map.
11. I do best in academic subjects by listening to lectures and tapes.
12. I play with coins or keys in my pocket.
13. I learn to spell better by repeating words out loud than by writing the words on paper.
14. I can understand a news article better by reading about it in the newspaper than by listening to a report about it on the radio.
15. I chew gum, smoke, or snack while studying.
16. I think the best way to remember something is to picture it in your head.
17. I learn the spelling of words by “finger spelling” them.
18. I would rather listen to a good lecture or speech than read about the same material in a textbook.
19. I am good at working and solving jigsaw puzzles and mazes.
20. I grip objects in my hands during learning periods.
21. I prefer listening to the news on the radio rather than reading about it in the newspaper.
22. I prefer obtaining information about an interesting subject by reading about it.
23. I feel very comfortable touching others, hugging, handshaking, etc.
24. I follow oral directions better than written ones.
http://www.rrcc-online.com/~psych/LSscoring.htm SCORING PROCEDURES DIRECTIONS : Place the point value on the line next to the corresponding item below. Add the points in each column to obtain the preference score under each heading. You may print this page to help you fill in the scoring table. OFTEN = 5 points SOMETIMES = 3 points SELDOM = 1 point
VISUAL AUDITORY TACTILE NO. PTS. NO. PTS. NO. PTS. 2 1 4 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 13 15 16 18 17 19 21 20 22 24 23 VPS= Visual preference score
APS= Auditory Preference Score
TPS= Tactile Preference Score
There are 3 main learning styles: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic/Tactile: 1.) Visual Learners: Take in information through seeing. If you are a VISUAL learner, by all means be sure that you look at all study materials. Use charts, maps, filmstrips, notes, videos, and flash cards. Practice visualizing or picturing words and concepts in your head. Write out everything for frequent and quick visual review. Traits: Usually prefer to study alone to read and visualize material. Tend to remember what a page of information looked like Good at studying from textbook and notes. Tips: Looking at and creating charts and graphs. Draw pictures of what you want to remember. They can visualize a page in their head, therefore it is helpful to take the time to picture the material, then look away and visualize it in your head. Note cards and outlines work well. 2.) Auditory Learners: Take in information through hearing. If you are an AUDITORY learner, you may wish to use tapes. Tape lectures to help fill in gaps in your notes. But do listen and take notes – and review your notes frequently. Sit in the lecture hall or classroom where you can hear well. After you have read something, summarize it and recite it aloud. Talk to other students about class material. Traits: Learn well through lectures. Benefit from working in groups where material is discussed. Tips: Benefit from tape recorded lectures and notes – can tape record your own notes and play them back. Find it helpful to recite material out loud to themselves. 3.) Kinesthetic/Tactile (Hands-on Learners): Those who learn best by doing. If you are a TACTILE learner, trace words as you are saying them. Facts that must be learned should be written several times. Keep a supply of scratch paper on hand for this purpose. Taking and keeping lecture notes is very important. Make study sheets. Associate class material with real-world things or occurrences. When appropriate, practice role playing. Traits: Need to physically work with or manipulate the material. Tips: Tend to prefer hands-on classes such as laboratory courses, mechanics, etc. Building models of what needs to be learned is helpful.
As you become more familiar with your learning style you can apply the study techniques which are most helpful to you. You may also find all of these study techniques to be helpful – just experiment until you find the best methods for you. EXERCISE Which style listed above best describes you? Do you learn best by using techniques from two different styles or perhaps all three? Which learning techniques work best for you?
S Q 3 R What is SQ3R? SQ3R is a study technique and an acronym which stands for SURVEY, QUESTION, READ, RECITE, REVIEW. (see next page for table) Why Use SQ3R to Study? SQ3R: 1. Provides a purpose for reading an assignment. 2. Improves reading comprehension of the assignment. 3. Reinforces the learning process and the resulting knowledge.
Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review!
Before you read, Survey the chapter:
• the title, headings, and subheadings • captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps • review questions or teacher-made study guides • introductory and concluding paragraphs • summary
Question while you
• Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions;
• Read questions at the end of the chapters or after each subheading;
• Ask yourself, “What did my instructor say about this chapter or subject when it was assigned?”
• Ask yourself, “What do I already know about this subject?”
Note: If it is helpful to you, write out these questions for consideration. This variation is called SQW3R
When you begin to
• Look for answers to the questions you first raised; • Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or
study guides • Reread captions under pictures, graphs, etc. • Note all the underlined, italicized, bold printed words or
phrases • Study graphic aids • Reduce your speed for difficult passages • Stop and reread parts which are not clear • Read only a section at a time and recite after each
Recite after you’ve
read a section:
• Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read or summarize, in your own words, what you read
• Take notes from the text but write the information in your own words
• Underline or highlight important points you’ve just read • Use the method of recitation which best suits your
particular learning style but remember, the more senses you use the more likely you are to remember what you read – i.e.,
TRIPLE STRENGTH LEARNING: Seeing, saying, hearing- QUADRUPLE STRENGTH LEARNING: Seeing, saying, hearing, and writing!!!
Review: an ongoing
Day One • After you have read and recited the entire chapter,
write questions in the margins for those points you have highlighted or underlined.
• If you took notes while reciting, write questions for the notes you have taken in the left hand margins of your notebook.
Day Two • Page through the text and/or your notebook to re-
acquaint yourself with the important points. • Cover the right hand column of your text/note-book and
orally ask yourself the questions in the left hand margins. • Orally recite or write the answers from memory. • Make “flash cards” for those questions which give you
difficulty. • Develop mnemonic devices for material which need to be
memorized. Days Three, Four and Five
• Alternate between your flash cards and notes and test yourself (orally or in writing) on the questions you formulated.
• Make additional flash cards if necessary. Weekend Using the text and notebook, make a Table of Contents – list all the topics and sub-topics you need to know from the chapter. From the Table of Contents, make a Study Sheet/ Spatial Map. Recite the information orally and in your own words as you put the Study Sheet/Map together. Now that you have consolidated all the information you need for that chapter, periodically review the Sheet/Map so that at test time you will not have to cram.
Adapted from: Robinson, Francis Pleasant, (1961, 1970) Effective study (4th ed.), Harper & Row, New York, NY. Link: http://www.studygs.net/texred2.htm4-3http://www.studygs.net/texred2.htm4-3
Creating Guide Questions for Improving Comprehension – Using the SQ3R Technique
Objective: To learn to build sophisticated questions which will help your reading comprehension and your ability to integrate the reading with the goal(s) of the book and the course. I. If major headings and subheadings are present:
A. Underline the key terms in the chapter title, major headings, and subheadings.
B. Ask what you should know about the key terms using the following interrogatives:
what why how
These interrogatives encourage you to develop more thoughtful detailed answers while interrogatives such as who, when, and where narrow your answers to simple or single word responses. The types of questions you develop will dictate how you should read a particular reading assignment to maximize your comprehension. Develop your questions on the following in this order. 1. chapter title 2. major headings 3. sub-headings 4. italicized words and/or phrases Remember you are interested in building meaningful relationships between the material you read now, what you read before, and what you will read next. Examples: 1. History a. When did an event occur? b. Where did the event occur? c. Why did it occur? d. Who was involved? e. What were the results? 2. Math a. What is the problem? b. What information do you need to solve the problem? 1) What knowledge do you already have to help you solve the problem? 2) What new information will you use to solve the problem? c. How will you process the information (sequence of steps) to arrive at the
solution to the problem? II. If major headings and subheadings are not present. A. Question the Table of Contents in terms of the present assignment. B. Question the chapter title. C. Question the main points the author states in the introduction and/or Preface. D. Question the topic sentences or first sentences of paragraphs in chapters. III. Application of Questions A. Question how the present reading is related to previous reading(s). B. Question how your reading assignment is related to theme or objective(s) of the course. e.g., why are you assigned this outside reading? e.g., think of your own examples to reinforce your understanding of concepts and to make concepts relevant and meaningful to you. Exercise Using one of your textbooks for one of your other classes, take an assigned chapter and survey the title, headings, subheadings and italicized works. Look at all pictures and graphs. Next, formulate questions about the chapter using the SQ3R technique. Chapter Title The main topics of the chapter are ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Headings, subheading, italicized words or important vocabulary — turn these into questions ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
Strengthening Your Comprehension It is important to periodically test your comprehension while you are reading. At times you may need to strengthen or attempt to improve your comprehension. Here are some tips for strengthening your understanding of the material. Some ways to improve comprehension include:
1. Be aware of your environment. Eliminate distractions such as TV, computer, phone, etc. Be aware of amount of time you have spent reading, fatigue can negatively affect reading comprehension.
2. Read difficult subjects or sections more slowly. 3. Reread difficult material as necessary. 4. Read challenging subjects or sections out loud. 5. Write answers to guide questions or take notes in the margins. 6. Try to explain the material in your own words. 7. Highlight important information and main ideas. 8. Use other reference material to help understand concepts or vocabulary
that are unfamiliar to you.
The Memory Process Information is taken in through a process called Encoding. The information is then stored briefly in your sensory storage until your brain can sort out what information is important to remember. The process of selective attention is where your brain decides what information should be sent to your short-term memory and which information is simply “background noise” and should be discarded. Once in your short term memory, information will only stay there for a few seconds. In order for important to move to your long-term memory you must “do something with it” i.e.: review it, recite it etc. For example: when someone tells you their phone number it will only stay in your short-term memory for a few seconds so you must repeat it several times in order for it to move into your long-term memory, otherwise you will forget it.
Remembering and Forgetting
What Do We Remember We remember what we understand. We remember what we think is important We remember what has personal meaning for us. We remember what we have just learned. We remember what we overlearn.
A study conducted at Southwest Missouri State University by Dr. Charles Tegeler revealed information on the value of review to help you remember. Students were given information and they studied it until they had 100% mastery. The group was divided into two groups. One group did not review the material and at the end of 63 days when they were retested, they averaged 17% comprehension. The other group reviewed once a week. At the end of the 63 day period, they averaged 92% comprehension. 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0 7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 Why Do You Forget Research has demonstrated over and over that the greatest amount of forgetting occurs during the first day. Remembering what you have heard is even more difficult to remember than what you have read. When you read, you have control over the material. You can slow down, regress, or speed-up your reading. People often say they forgot something when they actually never knew it. If you just met someone and didn’t really catch their name, you didn’t forget it – you never knew it. There are a variety of theories about forgetting. Think about these as you read them and see if you can understand how the theory relates to your own “forgetful” experiences.
1. It’s There Somewhere. Some psychologists believe once we have thoroughly
learned something, it remains in our memory our entire life. This theory suggests that the concept is there, but we are just having trouble finding it in order to be able to retrieve it.
2. Interference Theory – Old facts and ideas cause us to forget new facts and
ideas. The reverse is also true. New ideas and facts can cause confusion with old ones. We are continually adding ideas to our memory bank. If you
NO REVIEW — 17%
WEEKLY REVIEW — 92%
learn three similar facts at three separate times, the middle one will have the most difficult time surviving. This is also true of lists you need to remember. The first and last items are easier to remember than the middle ones.
3. Use It Or Lose It – If you don’t use a fact you have learned, it gets more
difficult to remember it. This is why review is so important.
4. Motivation and Attitude Theory – Sometimes we choose to forget. Things we associate with unpleasant memories or mistakes we have made we would like to forget. A poor attitude in class can definitely affect memory ability. You have the power to influence both remembering and forgetting.
The following ideas should help improve your memory: 1. Recitation and repetition – This technique is probably the most powerful one that will allow transfer from short-term to long-term memory. When you want to remember something, repeat it aloud. Recitation works best when you put concepts you want to remember into your own words. Simply repeating things will aid memory. Advertisements hook us in this way. We learn a jingle or a slogan by hearing it repeated again and again. Arthur Gages did a series of recitation experiments in 1917. His experiments suggest that when you are reading a general text (psychology, sociology, history), 80% of your time should be spent in reciting and 20% in reading. It is also more effective to start recitation early in the reading process. Do not wait until you have read everything before you start to recite. 2. Reflecting – It is important to give information time to go from short-term memory to long-term memory. This is considered consolidation time. Researchers vary on their opinions, but a safe rule is to leave information in your short-term memory 4-15 seconds. This gives information time to consolidate and transfer to your long-term memory. This is important to remember when you are reading quickly and not stopping to think about what you have read. The information will be discarded quickly if you do not allow time for transfer. Stop and think about what you have just read, recite it, paraphrase it, and related it to what you already know. 3. Periodic Review – Marathon study sessions are not effective. It is much better to have intermittent spaced review sessions. A practical application of this would be using the small blocks of time you are now wasting during the day. It is also important to take breaks while you studying as mentioned earlier, studying a few pages, thinking about it, then reading a few more pages so you are remembering many “firsts” and “lasts.” After a 45-50 minute study session, reward yourself with a short break. When you come back, you will be more alert and more efficient. If significant learning is taking place and you are really engrossed, go for it! You don’t have to stop, but memory is
more productive when you space your studying instead of trying to accomplish everything in one long session. 4. Make It Meaningful – We remember things better when we can apply them to ourselves. If we can match the information we need to remember to something or someone familiar to us or to a goal we have set, it will be easier to recall. 5 Visualize Relationships and Associations – Knowing individual facts does not help you understand a topic. It is important to relate new ideas to what you already know, to look at tables and graphs or to draw pictures and charts of what you need to learn. Often students will remember a picture, table, or graph that explains a theory easier than they will remember the words that described it. 6. Use memory devises – Memory devices are creative and fun ways to memorize information and retain it for a long period of time. The key is to tie the information you are learning to something already familiar to you, or to organize the information so it is easier to remember. Memory tricks are helpful for remembering terminology and definitions, lists of items or important events. They are most helpful if they are created by you and are limited only by your own imagination. It is helpful to write down your memory trick next to the word or items you are trying to remember. It is also helpful to make then funny or crazy because it adds some humor to studying – the sillier the better! Some examples are:
a. Chunking or Clustering – This is a method whereby you categorize similar items you need to know. For example: As you walked to the grocery store, you realized you didn’t have your list with you. You did remember there were twelve items. The items you had on your list were: onions, lettuce, ice cream, green beans, eggs, cheese, peas, apples, grapefruit, milk, and oranges.
Look at these items for 15 seconds. Close the book and see how many you can recall. You are doing well if you remember 6 or 7.
By clustering or chunking these items, we can make them manageable. We can have 3 major items instead of twelve.
Vegetables Dairy Fruits
onions ice cream bananas lettuce milk apples green beans eggs grapefruit peas cheese oranges
When we think of the major headings, the individual details fall in place. The thought of dairy products automatically reduces our thoughts to items associated with that group. This procedure will work well using your textbooks. Learn to associate details with the major headings.
b. Mnemonics – If you have a group to remember or a list of items, you can make-a-word mnemonic. An easy way to remember the Great Lakes is by the word HOMES – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Similar to this is an acronym. An acronym is formed by the first letters of the word you want to remember. A good example of this would be NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration A mnemonic device similar to an acronym is an acrostic. With this type of mnemonic device, rather than creating a new word from the first letter of each word, you create a sentence using words beginning with the same first letters as the list of words you are trying to remember. An illustration may be helpful to explain the concept. For example, when trying to remember the order of operations for a math problem (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition then Subtraction), students create a sentence to remember the order. Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. A common exercise for medical students is to learn the cranial nerves. They are difficult to remember by themselves because they have no particular meaning for students who have never seen them before. By using an acrostic you can provide clues (the first letter of each word) that will make it easier to remember them.
c. visualization: use maps, charts, graphs and pictures to help remember information and to create visual connections with the information to be remembered. 7. Use your learning style that you previously learned in this chapter. Exercise Using one of your textbooks find some words, phrases or lists of information you will need to remember. Write below what you need to remember, and the memory device you will use to remember it.
Note Taking Survey Read each statement and determine how often it is true for you.
Always Sometimes Rarely Never
1. I take notes during class lectures
2. I take notes when I read
3. My notes are in a notebook 4. I use a note taking system (outlining, mapping, cornell, etc)
5. I take notes on things that are written on the board or on the projector
6. I copy notes from my friends if I miss class.
7. I use abbreviations when I take notes 8. I organize my notes (chronologically, alphabetically, by categories, etc.)
9. I read over and review my notes
10. I use notes to study for tests
11. I keep notes from year to year.
12. I draw pictures/diagrams in my notes
13. I take notes on both sides of one sheet of paper
14. I write questions in my notes
15. I draw arrows in my notes to connect ideas
16. I take notes in complete sentences 17. My lecture notes are complete. 18. I recognize relationships between lectures and readings 19. I combine my lecture notes with my reading notes. 20. I summarize my notes in my own words 21. I review my notes immediately after class 22. I conduct weekly reviews of my notes from all classes 23. I edit my notes within 24 hours after classes 24. I organize my notes by highlighting, underlining, or writing comments in the margins
Notes Checklist Activity Directions: Using a classmate’s notebook, place a check mark in the appropriate column, “Yes”, “Somewhat”, or “No” for each area. Add additional comments at the bottom of the page or next to each item. Class: _______________________________ Are ________________________ notes: Student’s Name Yes Somewhat No ____ ____ ____ Legible ____ ____ ____ Clear – good flow, makes sense, understandable ____ ____ ____ Dated ____ ____ ____ Highlighted ____ ____ ____ Underlined ____ ____ ____ Organized (outline format, bullet points, indents, etc.) ____ ____ ____ Expectable amt of notes (3-5 pages for a 1 hr class) ____ ____ ____ Titles for different sections/Ideas are separated ____ ____ ____ Extra space for comments/questions/new info ____ ____ ____ Notes or keywords in the margins ____ ____ ____ Abbreviations used ____ ____ ____ Capture the main idea and supporting details ____ ____ ____ Section breaks between exams ____ ____ ____ References to page #’s ____ ____ ____ Separate from other classes Other Comments: Peer Reviewer’s Name ____________________________
1. First part of word is most important, but also the last consonant used, e.g., whe., thn., wk., yr., wd., sp. 2. Consonants are more important than vowels, e.g., sply ., thse., abve., belw ., signft., notwthstndg., constly., cooptn., ref., orig., cf. (compare). 3. Corollary: Don’t worry if same form stands for two diff. words, e.g., wind, wind; acc., accurate or according to; wh., which or who. 4. The common endings easily abbreviate: (The common end’gs easily abrvt) g for ing (work’g) n for tion or sion (exam’n) d for ed (frost’d) t for ant (c’t, frag’t) m for ism (social’m) 1 for al (continu’l) y for ary, ory (maj’y) 5. Time-saving for commonly recurring connective or transitional words: & and = equals or same as ? doubt or question w/ with; w/i for within; w/o without b/t. between re. regarding, concerning bec. because b/co become avg. average vs against re regarding e.g. for example i.e. that is b/4 before ≠ is not equal to < > less than, greater than Α varies as, is proprt’l to ∞ infinity , countless, very great ∴ therefore
OR use your texting skills to make up your own shorthand abbreviations!!!
6. Words of some length can and should be represented by the first syllable & apostrophe (‘) with last letter: (. . . length can & shd be repst’d by the first syl. & apostrophe with last letter) adv’g (advertising.) systm’ly lab’y (or lab.) rmrk’y dom’c reg’n 7. If a lecture is going to be about a term or phrase that will be repeated, make up an abbreviation and write it down. MMP Massachusetts Party 8. Leave out periods in standard abbreviations. dept department NYC New York City 9. Use just enough of the beginning of a word to create an easily recognizable unit. asso associate info information chem chemistry 10. Add “s” to abbreviations when plurals are needed. chaps chapters bkgrds backgrounds govts governments 11. Leave out unimportant words. a the Adapted from Edward S. Jones, PhD. Improvement of Study Habits, pp. 44-45 Rev. 07/2008 O://dept/LSS/Handouts/Displayrack/Note-Taking Abbreviations.doc 1 of 1
The Cornell Note-taking System
Note taking Column
1. Record: During the lecture, use the note taking column to record the lecture using telegraphic sentences. 2. Questions: As soon after class as possible, formulate questions based on the notes in the right-hand column. Writing questions helps to clarify meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen memory. Also, the writing of questions sets up a perfect stage for exam-studying later. 3. Recite: Cover the note taking column with a sheet of paper. Then, looking at the questions or cue-words in the question and cue column only, say aloud, in your own words, the answers to the questions, facts, or ideas indicated by the cue-words. 4. Reflect: Reflect on the material by asking yourself questions, for example: “What’s the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know? What’s beyond them? 5. Review: Spend at least ten minutes every week reviewing all your previous notes. If you do, you’ll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the exam.
After class, use this space at the bottom of each page to 2” summarize the notes on that page.
Adapted from How to Study in College 7/e by Walter Pauk, 2001 Houghton Mifflin Company
References Robinson, Francis Pleasant, (1961, 1970) Effective study (4th ed.), Harper & Row, NY, NY. Available at: http://www.studygs.net/texred2.htm Ebbinghaus, H. Memory (H.S. Ruger & C.E. Busenius, trans.) New York: . Teacher’s College Press, 1913 (originally published 1885). Gardner, H. Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1983. Guthrie, E.R. The psychology of learning (Rev.ed.) New York: Harper & Row, 1952 Hull, C.L. Principles of behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1943. James, W. The principle of psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1890. Mc Whorter, Kathleen. (2007). College Reading and Study Skills (10th ed.). Publisher: Pearson/Longman. Pauk, W. (2001) How to Study in College (7th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Co. Robertson, I. Sociology. New York: Worth Publishers, 1987. Penn State University (2004). Note Taking Survey. available at: http://istudy.psu.edu/FirstYearModules/NoteTaking/Survey.htm
YOUR COLLEGE TEXT: READING IS NOT LIKE
The purpose of this chapter is to: • show you how to warm-up before reading so that you can make connections between what you know and what you will learn; • discuss how to find the main ideas in textbook chapters by turning headings into questions; • help you find and define key words; • offer suggestions about using your textbook during lecture; • demonstrate effective marking; • discuss combining textbook and lecture notes; • give examples of study aids; • discuss the importance of review.
Pre-reading questions: 1. What parts of the textbook should you read during the warm-up? 2. Why is it important to connect new material to what you already know? 3. How can you find the main idea in the textbook section that follows a heading? 4. How can you find an outline for the chapter? 5. How can you find the meaning of key terms? 6. Should you struggle to understand everything on the initial reading? 7. Why should you use question marks during the initial reading? 8. Why should you take your textbook to lecture? 9. What should you do about material that you did not understand during the initial reading that you still do not understand after lecture? 10. About how much of your textbook should you highlight, underline or note? 11. Why should you answer the questions and problems at the end of the textbook chapter? 12. What is one way of combining textbook and classroom notes? 13. What is the purpose of creating study aids? 14. Name several ways of reviewing textbook material.
The W.I.D.E.N.E.R. Approach to Your College Texts
Scan the Chapter Title, Introductory Material, Major Headings, Minor Headings, Diagrams, Pictures, Captions, Graphs, Bold or Italic Print, Summary and Study Questions.
Initial reading Read straight through the chapter. Turn the headings into questions and try to answer them as you read.
Do go to lecture Take your textbook to class. Check the textbook material that also is mentioned in lecture in the margins of the textbook (√).
Expose the meaning During the second reading, highlight underline or write marginal notes to emphasize the main ideas and key words of each section of the chapter.
Note Summarize in writing the important material from the textbook.
Exam preparation Create summary sheets, graphic organizers, and other study aids to help you remember and organize the material. Use a question/answer format whenever possible.
Review Review every day until the material is overlearned. Then review at regular intervals until the test.
Title Pictures, graphs, charts, and their captions
Chapter Outline A.
1. 2. B. Introductory paragraphs MAJOR HEADING Minor Heading Minor Heading MAJOR HEADING Words that appear in BOLD, print, or ITALICS
Summary Questions and Problems
Warm-up by looking at the content of the chapter. This step should take only a few minutes and give you a general idea of the concepts the author is going to present. The key ideas and words often appear in the headings, bold print and italics. As you warm-up think about what you already know from other classes and your general knowledge. Making connections between your knowledge and the information the textbook is presenting improves memory and understanding. Estimate how difficult the material is and how long you will need to read and study it.
Taste: A Chemical Sense Olfactory Epithelium Structure of Taste Buds The organ of smell is called the Olfactory Epithelium. It is Taste Receptors located in the roof of the nasal cavity.
Activation Activation Thresholds Questions and Problems
Initial Reading should be done before you hear the lecture over the textbook material. Turn each heading into a question and read for an answer. The answer to these questions made from headings will usually be the main idea presented in a section. For example, turn the heading: Taste: A Chemical Sense into the question: Why is the sense of taste a chemical process? The answer to this question probably will be the main idea of the text section that follows the heading. Notice that the heading sizes outline the chapter material.
I. Taste: A Chemical Sense
A. Structure of Taste Buds B. Taste Receptors
1. Activation 2. Activation Thresholds
Pay particular attention to the words in bold face or italics and to those that appear in the headings. These are key terms and are essential for understanding the material in the textbook. They often appear as test items. Try to understand their meaning from the way they are used or defined in the reading. If you are still unclear about the meaning, listen for the way they are used and pronounced in lecture and/or look them up in the glossary of the textbook. Do not struggle to understand everything in the initial reading. Hearing the subject talked about during class lecture will make many of the concepts clearer. Put a question mark by material that you do not understand so that you can ask questions in lecture. Quiz yourself using the study questions at the end of the chapter. This will give you a better idea of the parts of the chapter that you do and do not understand.
Do Go To Lecture
Olfactory Epithelium The organ of smell is called the olfactory epithelium. It is located in the roof of the nasal cavity in a poor physical position for detecting smells. This is one reason the sense of smell in humans is relatively poor. Textbook Lecture notes √ The sense of smell is as a p.187 The sense of smell depends chemoreceptor because it on chemoreceptors – responds
responds to chemical messages. to chemical messages. ( √ ) Indicates that this material was also mentioned in lecture. (p.187)- indicates where this information is discussed in the text. Do go to lecture and take your textbook. Place a check by the textbook material that your instructors mention. This is a good clue to the material that they consider important and a clue to the materials that may appear on the exam. Listen for explanations of material that you found confusing and for the pronunciation and meaning of words that were unfamiliar during the initial reading. Now is the time, either in class or after class, to ask questions about material you did not understand after your initial reading and still do not understand after hearing the lecture. As you write lecture notes, record the page numbers where the information can also be found in the text. Later, this will help you combine class notes and textbook material.
Expose the Meaning The purpose of the second reading is to decide what materials should be isolated for further study and learned. Use highlighting, underlining or margin notes to indicate the main ideas and key words. About 10% of the text should be thus annotated. If you are marking more than 10%, you are probably marking too much. Mark the answers to questions created from the headings since these will usually be the main ideas. Pay attention to bold faced or italicized words and note their definitions. Be sure that you understand the illustrations. Illustrations often provide internal summaries.
Example of underlining.
(Question: What is the olfactory epithelium and how does it operate?) Olfactory Epithelium The organ of smell is called the olfactory epithelium. It is located on the roof of the nasal cavity in a poor physical position for detecting smells. This is the reason the sense of smell in humans is relatively poor.
√ Indicates that this was √ The sense of smell is classified mentioned in lecture and as a Chemoreceptor because it is probably important. responds to chemical messages.
After the second reading, you should answer the study questions provided by the textbook and work the problems at the end of the chapter. These problems will help you apply what you have learned and the questions provide a test of comprehension.
Notes Summarize in writing the important parts from the textbook. Combine textbook notes with class notes so that you can study them together. Many students accomplish this by taking lecture notes only on one side of the page and then adding textbook notes on the facing page which is left blank during note-taking.
Opposite page is left blank Lecture Notes
p.187 The sense of smell is chemoreceptor – responds to chemical messages
Step 2 Notes added from Textbook Lecture Notes The organ of smell p.187 The sense of smell is is called the olfactory chemoreceptor – responds epithelium. to chemical messages.
Exam Preparation The purpose of creating study aids is to organize and condense information even further so that it can be studied for tests. Note cards, question/answer sheets, outlining, writing practice essays, graphic organizers, and model problems are examples of study aids. Published study guides and old tests from previous years can also be helpful in test preparation.
Review Research suggests that students who get A’s spend most of their study time in review. * The first review should occur 24 hours or less after the initial reading. The greatest amount of forgetting occurs immediately after the first reading. * To review re-read the parts of the text that you have annotated by underlining, highlighting or marginally noting. * Ask yourself questions made from the headings and recite the answers out loud or in writing. Check the textbook to be sure you are correct. Continue to test yourself until you are correct several times. * Review your study aids until you know them. * Put questions in the margins of your lecture notes and textbook notes. Practice answering the questions until you have answered perfectly several times.
| | The organ of smell is called the What is the Ο | olfactory epithelium. It is organ of smell | located – – – – – – – – – – – . called? | |
* Overlearning means continuing to go over material after it is learned perfectly. Overlearning is necessary for good test performance because the stress we feel during tests hampers memory and overlearning helps us to remember despite stress. * Once you have overlearned the material, you need to review it on a regular basis until the test.
Predict Essay Questions and write practice answer.
TEST TAKING SKILLS
The purpose of this chapter is to: • help you analyze your present test taking skills;
• show you how to take various kinds of tests more effectively; • provide you with ways to feel less anxious when taking exams.
Pre-reading questions: 1. In addition to studying hard, what specific steps can I take to improve my performance on a test before I actually take the test? 2. What test taking skills apply to all kinds of exams? 3. What test taking skills are particularly helpful for essay exams? 4. What test taking skills are particularly helpful for multiple choice exams? 5. What test taking skills are particularly helpful for true/false tests? 6. Have I ever felt test anxiety? What can I do to reduce excessive test anxiety?
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE AN EXAM Course: _____________________________ Instructor: _____________________ Exam Topic(s): _______________________ Exam date: ____________________ 1. How many questions will be on the test? ___________________________________________ 2. What types of questions (true/false, multiple choice, essay, matching, etc.) will be on the test? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 3. What material will be covered? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 4. What outside material (handouts, readings, etc.) will be included on the test? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 5. How much will the test count toward the final grade? ________________________________ 6. Will the questions come primarily from notes or the text? _____________________________ 7. Will partial credit be awarded for some answers? ____________________________________ 8. How much time will we have for the test? _________________________________________ 9. Will there be extra credit? ______________________________________________________ 10. What materials (notes, calculators, dictionaries, etc.) will we be able to use? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Additional information? Taken from College Study Skills: Strategies for Success by C. Hopper
Preparing For a Test Being a good test taker involves good study skills, organization and a thorough knowledge of the material; however there are test taking strategies that can give you that extra boost to make the best possible grade. As was mentioned in the previous chapter on study skills, you should be reading chapters as they are assigned, and reviewing class notes and other assigned materials on a regular basis. Frequent short study sessions are better than a few long cramming sessions. BEFORE THE EXAM: Find out as much as you can about the test itself: 1. Find out exactly when the test will be given. 2. Ask your professors to discuss the types of questions that will be on the
test: multiple choice, true-false, essay, completion, matching, or short answer.
3 If your professors give essay tests, ask them what they look for in a good essay answer.
4. Ask your professors to give you examples of test items and good test answers. Many professors will be willing to do this, but almost none will do it if you don’t ask.
5. Talk with students who have taken the course before. 6. Try to guess which questions your instructor will ask.
7. Seek out help. If you are having difficulty understanding the material see the professor or a tutor. Since material in a course often builds on material previously learned, it is important to seek out help as soon as you don’t understand something.
8. Group study sessions provide a good opportunity to discuss the material and to quiz one another.
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TEST: 1. Review the material, but do not cram. 2. Make sure you have pencils, pens, a watch, and a calculator (if
permissible). 3. Get a good night’s sleep. 4. Imagine yourself taking the test and doing well, feeling confident. 5. Tell yourself you know the material and will do well on the exam. THE DAY OF THE TEST: 1. Eat a good breakfast. 2. Tell yourself you will do well on the exam. 3. Do not study or cram the hour before the exam – this causes needless test
anxiety and could actually make you “blank out” on the exam. 4. Make sure you have all of the materials you need for the exam. 5. Allow plenty of time to get to the exam on time. 6. Don’t talk to students in the class about the exam right before the test
starts; this will only increase anxiety.
How to Take Exams Effectively
All Types of Exams 1) Skim the test to see how many and what type of questions are on it. 2) Do the style of questions at which you are best first. For example, if the
exam is both multiple choice and essay and you are better at multiple choice questions, do those first.
or Do the questions which will give you the most points first. If the essay
questions are worth 60 points and the multiple choice questions are worth 40, do the essay questions first.
3) Skip items you do not know and move on to those you can answer.
Answering the questions about which you feel confident gives you a more secure, positive attitude toward taking the rest of the exam. Mark items you skip so that you can return to them at the end of the test. Many times you will find hints later in the test to help you answer questions you do not know.
4) Read all directions carefully. It is not unusual for students to get poor grades
on exams simply because they failed to read and follow directions. 5) Underline key words in the questions and answers. This does three things:
it makes certain you read the question well and did not miss an important concept; it helps you focus on what needs to be answered; and, it enables you to glance at fewer words when re-reading the question.
6) Budget your time so you are certain to finish the test, but don’t frantically rush
through the exam because this will just make you nervous (we realize this is easier said than done!)
7) Assume each item has a correct answer and that you know enough to figure it
out. This “I can do it” attitude helps students focus on what they can do, not on what they can’t do.
8) Always guess if you don’t know the answer. 9) The most frequent reading error on exams is leaving out a critical word, usually a
negative word such as not, none, least, fewest, etc. If you have difficulty answering negative questions, it may be easier for you to reframe the question into the positive. For example, if the question reads “all of the following are true except”, you can rephrase the question to read “all of the following are true”, then pick out all of the true answers leaving the exception, which will be your answer.
For example: the Social Sciences include all of the following except.
a. Psychology b. Sociology c. Anthropology d. History
a, b and c are social sciences, so the answer is d.
10) A good exam writer knows that poor students often simply choose the first good
answer to appear without bothering to read all of the alternatives. Make sure you read all answers. One of the best antidotes to this tendency is to read the answers in reverse order.
11) Often students think that if they haven’t marked a “d” alternative on a multiple
choice test, a “d” is due. On a true-false exam, if you marked a series of items “true” you begin to think “false” is due. BEWARE. Good exam writers do not worry about having every alternative position equally-often correct.
12) When reviewing your work on the exam, change answers ONLY when you find
something you overlooked the first time.
How To Take Essay Exams Effectively Essay tests require good recall of information, good writing skills and good organization. It is helpful to anticipate in advance what questions your professor might ask and how you might answer them. 1. Read all questions carefully and underline key words. 2. If the essay question has several parts you are asked to answer (as they often
do), place a little number 1 next to the first part you are to answer, a number 2 next to the second, etc. For example, if an essay question for an Art History test asks:
Compare and contrast the works of Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. Describe specific pieces of art to back up your ideas.
This question has several parts: 1) Compare the works of Picasso and Duchamp 2) Contrast the works of Picasso and Duchamp 3) Describe specific pieces of art to back up your ideas.
3. Essay questions such as the one above often use in their directions action words which you must clearly understand. Below are some of these action words and their meanings.
define give a general statement of what a term means. enumerate discuss one point at a time, covering all points. illustrate explain with examples. trace to tell the history or development of something from the
earliest to the most recent time. compare to point out similarities and differences. contrast to point out the differences. outline to give a general description, plan, or summary. summarize to give a brief version of the most important points. justify give the reasons for. critique to summarize and evaluate.
4. Outline next to each question what you plan to say. This is helpful for several
reasons: An outline helps you answer each part of the question and it helps you to say on track and not wander off the subject. You can put an outline next to each question before you even begin writing any essays, therefore if you don’t complete the last essay(s), the professor can see your outlines and possibly give you extra points.
5. Be direct. Short, definite statements make the best answers in a test situation. 6. Be concise. Brevity is the hallmark of a good essay answer. It is not the case
that graders are impressed by long answers; on the contrary, they may grade you down if they feel you could have said everything you had to say in many fewer words.
The length of an essay should correspond to the number of points it is
worth. It is always important to be as concise as possible, but if an essay is worth many points, the professor probably thinks you should provide a great deal of information. Conversely, don’t overkill a low-point item.
7. Be pertinent. Some students use a shotgun approach to essay items. They try
to write down everything they know about a topic in hopes that something they say will answer the question. You may lose some credit for including information that is true but not related to the topic.
8. Be literate. Professors realize that you are under time pressure when taking an
exam, therefore, they do not expect “perfect prose” in your essays. At the same time, they can’t help noticing sloppy sentences, poor paragraphs, and incomplete ideas. A literate essay will not earn you a good grade for a wrong answer, but an illiterate essay may lower your grade for a right answer. This is true in all courses, not just those in English composition.
9. Neatness. Grading an essay involves subjective judgment. Even if the grader tries to be objective when reading your essay, he or she will be influenced by the appearance of your essay. Always use a dark pencil or pen and write legibly. Be neat. If your professor cannot read your writing, you cannot get credit for your answer. If you need to insert something, put an asterisk in your essay and put the inserted material at the bottom of your essay.
10. Re-read your answers carefully. Did you answer all of the points in the
question? Does your writing make sense? Is your essay organized?
Taking Multiple Choice Exams 1. Do those you know first. 2. If the correct answer is not obvious to you right away, try to eliminate the wrong
options and guess from among those that remain. 3. If you need to skip a question and return to it later, put a star next to the
question. In reviewing the answers, cross off those you think are incorrect. In other words, writing on your exam is encouraged unless you are told not to do so.
4. The answer to a question may appear in another question on the test. Often
when we don’t remember an answer it pops into our head as we are working through the test, so if you don’t know an answer, skip it and return to the question later.
Guessing on Multiple Choice Tests After you have answered every question you know on the exam and eliminated possible answers you know don’t apply, it is time to guess on those questions for which YOU ABSOLUTELY DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER. Always put an answer down for each question on a multiple choice test. The following guessing techniques are helpful, but only apply to those questions which you are unable to answer.
1. Read the question into each answer. Does the grammar fit each answer? If
not, eliminate those answers which do not match the question grammatically. For example: The smallest unit of sound capable of making a meaning
distinction in language is a
a) morpheme b) allophone c) phoneme d) tagmeme
You can eliminate answer “b” because the question sentence ends in the word “a”, so the answer should start with a consonant.
2. When alternatives seem equally good, select the one which is longest and
seems to hold the most information.
For example: In the United States inferior intellectual development is most often caused by
a) Poor nutrition b) Divorce c) The combined effects of inherited ability and environmental deprivation. d) Television
The longest and most detailed answer is “c” which is the correct choice.
3. If there are very few “all of the above”/”none of the above” answers on the test, and if it seems that “all of the above” or “none of the above” is possible, choose that answer.
4. Whenever two of the options are opposites, one of them is always wrong and
the other is often, but not always right.
For example: A proton is a
a) positively charged particle b) free atom c) negatively charged particle d) displace neuron
“a” and “c” are opposites, “a” is correct. 5. “All or nothing” answers are usually incorrect.
For example: A few drinks in the first trimester of pregnancy
a) always leads to birth defects. b) never leads to birth defects.
c) could lead to low birth weight, retardation, and behavioral problems. d) causes problems only in the first 4 weeks of
pregnancy. The answer would be “c” as the rest are “all or nothing” answers. Even if the words “always,” “never” and “only” aren’t used, look to see if all or nothing answers are implied. Answer “c” is also the longest and most detailed answer.
6. Whenever two of the options are identical, then both answers must be wrong.
For example: A kilogram is equal to: a) 2.8026 pounds
b) 1,000 grams c) 2.2046 pounds d) 2 pounds, 12.8 ounces
Answers “a” and “d” are equal, so these can be eliminated. The answer is “c”
True-False Tests 1. Read all directions carefully. 2. Guess if you don’t know the answer. Never leave a true-false question blank. 3. If any part of the statement is false, the correct answer for the item is “false.” 4. Be alert for such words as “never” and “always.” These absolutes often signal
a false answer. In the item below, item A is false because it does occasionally rain in the desert. On the other hand, item B is true because never is qualified. For example: Which item is true
a. It never rains in the Sahara Desert b. It almost never rains in the Sahara Desert.
5. Once again, longer statements are somewhat more likely to be true than short statements.
Exercise Using one of your textbooks, make up a possible multiple choice question and a true/false question in preparation for an upcoming exam. 1. Multiple Choice Question
Answer 2. True/False Question
Answer Write a possible essay question and provide an outline of your answer. 3. Essay Question
Examining Returned Tests Test Taking
What do you do when a test is returned to you? Do you throw it away? Do you file it away, never to look at it again? Or do you examine it carefully? A review of your test provides information about both your study and test- taking skills. It helps you decide which of your study and test-taking strategies work and which do not. Use this information to improve future test performance and reduce the stress of taking another exam in the same course. The table on the back provides a form for examining your test paper. To complete this worksheet, list each item you missed in the top row. Then mark an X by the description that best explains why you missed a question. Sometimes you will mark more than one reason for a question. Next, add the number of X’s by each reason. These numbers indicate the areas of study and test-taking strategies that need more attention.
B-31 Coates Hall 225/578-2872 www.cas.lsu.edu
Test Item Missed # items Missed
I did not read the text thoroughly.
Insufficient Inform ation
The information was not in my notes.
I studied the information but could not remember it.
I knew the main ideas, but needed details.
I knew the information, but could not apply it.
I studied the wrong information.
I experienced mental block.
Test A nxiety
I spent too much time daydreaming.
I was so tired I could not concentrate.
I was so hungry I could not concentrate.
I carelessly marked a wrong choice.
Lack of Test W isdom
I did not eliminate grammatically incorrect choices.
I did not choose the best choice.
I did not notice limiting words.
I did not notice a double negative.
I changed a correct answer to a wrong one.
I misread the directions.
I misread the question.
I made poor use of the time provided.
I wrote poorly organized responses.
I wrote incomplete responses.
Other: Other Other:
Test Anxiety Analysis
Name: ______________________________________ Date: ___________ Please check “YES” or “NO” for each answer below: YES NO 1. I often stay up late or “pull an all-nighter” to cram for
an exam. 2. I don’t skip around on the exam but instead work on
one question at a time. 3. If I don’t know the answer I leave the question blank. 4. In reviewing my exam, I often change answers before
I hand it in. 5. I use “guessing techniques” to make the best guess
on my exams. 6. I usually answer questions at the back of the chapter
or formulate my own possible test questions. 7. I study right up until the time I have to go and take the
exam. 8. I “go blank” on tests and can’t remember what I
studied. 9. I’m so anxious to finish the exam I race through the
test. If you answered “YES” to questions 1 through 4 you need to improve your test taking skills. If you answered “YES” to questions 5 and 6 your test taking skills are good in those areas. If you answered “YES” to questions 7 through 9 you probably are experiencing test anxiety and will want to pay special attention to the section in this chapter on test anxiety.
Dealing with Test Anxiety
Do you get nervous when you take exams? Do you “forget” the material you
had studied as soon as you receive the test? Do you make careless errors that you know you wouldn’t have made if you weren’t taking an exam? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are experiencing test anxiety. It is helpful to be aware of how you feel and what you are saying to yourself when you experience test anxiety. On the questionnaire below, check all that apply to you when you take an exam: Physical Reactions
My muscles become tense My breathing becomes shallow My hands become sweaty and my pen slides out of my hand My hands are shaking I can’t sit still My stomach is going crazy I feel like I’m going to be sick Emotional Reactions
Any noise in the room distracts me and I can’t concentrate My mind goes blank – I can’t remember anything I say to myself
I should have studied more I just want to finish I know I’m going to fail This test is terrible Everyone is leaving before me – I’m going to have the worst grade
in the class If I fail my parents will pull me out of school I’m never going to make it through school I can’t do this I’m stupid The first questions to ask yourself when you experience test anxiety is “did I study well enough to perform adequately on the exam?” “Did you take the time to review the notes and the text well in advance of the test?” Adequate study is the first step in reducing test anxiety. Those who experience test anxiety have studied the material, know the material thoroughly prior to the test, but when they receive the test they “blank out” or get so anxious they make careless mistakes. This is a frustrating situation, but the positive
side is that there are many things that can be done to prevent test anxiety, and there are people on campus who can be of help. Test anxiety manifests itself in two ways – (a) by what we are thinking and (b) by our physiological responses. Often what we are thinking and saying to ourselves when we experience test anxiety are negative and upsetting thoughts such as “I’m going to fail,” “I don’t remember anything,” “this test is awful,” or “my parents are going to take me out of school if I fail.” These negative thoughts make us more nervous and lead us down a path to negative results. Conversely, thinking calm and positive thoughts can relax us and lead us down a more positive path. Often people have the false belief that we are not in control of our thoughts and emotions. This is far from the truth. We have a great deal of control over what we think and feel and can therefore control our thoughts and feelings in a more positive way. How do we do this to control test anxiety?
The first step is to become aware of exactly what that little voice in the back of your mind is saying when you are nervous or upset during studying or during an exam. It is helpful to write down those negative thoughts. On the following pages, write down a few negative thoughts you may be saying to yourself while studying or taking a test. Next, counter each negative thought with a more positive thought. Two examples are given on the worksheet. What do you do when a flood of negative thoughts comes into your head? You tell them to STOP and replace them with the positive thoughts you wrote down. When our nervousness starts to escalate, often our body starts to show signs of tension. Our palms may become sweaty, our muscles tense up and our breathing becomes shallow. There are several things you can do to relax your body. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Breathe in deeply, hold it for a few seconds and breathe out slowly. Deep breathing has a wonderful calming effect. Shake out your arms and legs and tense and release each of your muscles. It is helpful to imagine yourself in a place you find relaxing; a comfortable chair, the beach (feel the warm sand, hear the waves), any place you find relaxing. Below are some additional techniques which can help you with test anxiety: • Don’t study at all the hour before the exam. By this time you should know the
material. Frantic studying during the hour before the exam just increases nervousness. Instead do something enjoyable. Read a magazine, watch television or call a friend.
• Arrive to class “just in time” so you don’t “catch” people’s nervousness prior to
the test. Often students nervously talk about the test material and anxiously search through notes and textbooks during the few minutes prior to the exam. This will only increase nervousness. Instead arrive to class right as the exam is to start. If you aren’t comfortable arriving at the last minute, seek out someone who will talk about something other than the exam. You can discuss the upcoming weekend, or anything else unrelated to the exam.
• Set up in advance a reward for after the test and reward yourself no matter how well or how poorly you do on the exam. This gives you something to look forward to and to strive for.
• Limit caffeine.
• Eat a small meal or light snack prior to the test to prevent blood sugar from
dropping. When blood sugar falls, forgetfulness and confusion often set in. • Some students like to look their best on the day of the exam; they say it gives
them confidence and a feeling of well-being. • During the few days prior to the exam, imagine yourself taking the exam,
feeling calm and confident and getting a good grade on the test. Imagine how good you feel when you receive your grade.
• If your nervousness gets out of control it is helpful to look away from the
exam for a few minutes and think about something other than the test. Thinking of something funny can help you relax.
• Don’t rush through the test. Pace yourself – rushing only makes students nervous. • If you have many formulas and facts to remember and if you are afraid you’ll
forget them as soon as you start the exam, turn over the exam as soon as you receive it and write down as much information as you can from memory. Knowing you have the formulas and facts written down helps you to relax as you progress through the exam. You can refer to them whenever necessary.
• Think about talking to your professor about your test anxiety. Your professor
won’t know why you are having difficulty unless you tell him or her. The professor may have some positive solutions which could help you.
Finally, if test anxiety continues to be a problem, seek out help on campus. Academic Support Services located at 522 E. 14th Street (Pineapple House) can connect you with an academic coach to help you with test anxiety. The Counseling Center, located at 19th & Walnut Streets, can help with test anxiety and stress management and can also be of help regarding a number of issues you may be facing.
Exercise: Write down the negative thoughts you say to yourself when taking an exam or studying. Write the positive thoughts you will say in place of the negative thoughts.
Negative Thoughts Positive Thoughts Example 1) I’m so nervous I’m going to
Example 1) I am calm and relaxed.
Example 2) I’m going to fail.
Example 2) I studied and I know the material, I am doing the best I can.
You, Your Advisor, and the Registration Process
The purpose of this chapter is to: • introduce you to the registration process
• provide some guidelines for the selection of your courses for next semester • provide a glossary of some key terms.
Pre-reading questions: 1. How do I know when I can register online? 2. What are the six steps needed to complete the registration process? 3. How would I find out if I have any “holds” on my account?
The Process The registration process consists of the following six steps: Step 1 – Read your Campus Cruiser email. About midway through the fall semester, you will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office telling you registration is about to begin, giving you general directions about how to proceed, and instructing you to go to Campus Cruiser to see when you may begin to go online to register for courses via “My Access Date and Time”. Read this information carefully. Make sure you understand each of the Registrar’s instructions about the registration process. If there is something you do not understand, ask questions until you learn what you need to know. Good sources for information are the Registrar’s Office, the Registrar’s office page, your academic advisor, the Dean’s office of your school/college and Academic Support Services. You will register through Student Planning like you did at Summer Registration. Registration is not difficult; you will be going through the process of constructing a complete schedule which includes the courses you will take, the days and times your classes will meet, and the names of the faculty who will teach your courses, so registration can seem overwhelming, frustrating, and confusing. For this reason, many majors hold a mandatory pre-advising meeting to walk you through the process. Check your email for the date of this meeting. Unfortunately, if you do not handle registration in a thoughtful and timely way you may not get a schedule of your preferences. Step 2 – Make an appointment with your academic advisor. You must consult with your advisor and get his/her signature on an Undergraduate Advising Form before you may go online to register for courses. Therefore, as soon as you receive the Registrar’s email about registration you should schedule an appointment to meet with your academic advisor on a date close to your registration date as course offerings change frequently. Meeting with your advisor is not a valid reason for missing class. Do not schedule your meeting during class time. Advisors make appointments for students to see them in a variety of ways. Many have sign-up sheets on their office door. If not, plan to stop in during office hours. If you intend to change your major, now is the time to attempt to declare a new major or visit the Exploratory Studies office if you need assistance in exploring other majors. Who is your academic advisor? _______________________
Where is his/her office located? _______________________
What are his/her office hours? _______________________
What is his/her office phone number? _______________________
What is his/her email address? _______________________
Step 3 – Do your advising homework. Is it your advisor’s job to make your schedule? Is it your dentist’s job to brush your teeth each night? Of course not! While your dentist offers guidance on taking care of your teeth and helps correct dental problems, he or she is not responsible for your daily dental hygiene. In the same way, your academic advisor can suggest courses to take or answer questions about particular courses but he or she does not make your schedule for you. This is your responsibility and it is important to do your advising homework. You will need a copy of your curriculum check sheet or academic ladder, the Widener University Undergraduate Catalog (www.widener.edu/catalogs) and the online spring semester course offerings available on Student Planning. When looking through the catalog online, you may find it easier to go to the index page prior to browsing or the pdf bookmarks. Use the following steps to create your schedule:
a. Check WebAdvisor to see if you have any current holds. b. List all of the courses you are required to take during the spring
semester. These include courses for your major as well as distribution requirements.
c. Before you select a course, make sure you have met the prerequisites.
(See the glossary in this chapter for a definition.) Prerequisites are listed after the course description in the Undergraduate Catalog. If the course description does not mention a prerequisite, it means there is none.
d. Now that you know the course you would like to take it is time to start
selecting the sections you would prefer in Student Planning. You may find it very helpful to use a schedule worksheet to visually create your schedule (a worksheet is included at the end of this chapter). Use a pencil. Please note that you are not permitted to register for most evening courses (except for labs and select Extending Learning courses).
e. You may not get your “ideal” schedule. (Not everyone can have a
schedule that begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m.) Therefore, you should plan alternative sections and courses because if you intend to be a full-time student you need 12-18 credits (see definition of credits).
As you are going through this process, you may have questions or you may not be able to choose between a variety of courses. These are the types of questions you should discuss with your advisor. Write these concerns down so you do not forget to ask them at your upcoming meeting.
Step 4 – Meet with your academic advisor. After you have done your advising homework you are ready to meet with your advisor. It is very important to be on time and to be prepared for this meeting. Bring with you the schedule you constructed in Step 3 above as well as any questions you may have. If you plan to repeat a course, make sure you get a Registration Form completed with the course repeated from your academic advisor to take to Enrollment Services.
It is important to know that only one developmental course may be counted towards graduation. If you have more than one on your schedule, you should take a summer course. Developmental courses include MATH 101, ENGL 100, ENGL 111 or SCI 088. Your advisor will review your course selections and answer your questions. When your schedule has been completed with alternate courses identified, your advisor will “sign off” on it, will retain a copy for your advising file, and will give you two copies. The white copy is for your own records. You should take the pink copy to your dean’s office to verify you have met with your advisor to review your spring semester schedule. Step 5 – Hand in your approved registration form. After your advisor has signed your registration approved form, as soon as possible take that form to your dean’s office. It is very important to do this because, if you do not, you will not be permitted to register. This form releases you from your advising hold. Step 6 – Register for your classes. As soon as possible after the designated start time posted on your Campus Cruiser account, you should go online using Student Planning to register for your courses. It would be wise to print a hard copy of your schedule and keep a copy of it in a safe place. Be sure to check back periodically to make sure your schedule has not changed. Many times classrooms also are changed. You may find the classes you most wanted to take are closed because other students already have registered for them. If this is the case you should register for one of the alternate classes you selected with you advisor. If you do not have an alternate or if the closed course is required, you should register for all of your courses for which you can register. After you have registered for everything you can, then you should go back to see your advisor.
If your registration fails, read the message explaining why and then re-register without the course that caused the problem. Some reasons for registration failure are: (a) closed courses, (b) pre-requisites not met, (c) repeating a course, (d) time conflicts, (e) holds (Bursar, Registrar, Health, Advisor, or Judiciary).
**You should always periodically check your schedule as classes, times, days, and professors may change prior to the start of the semester.
STUDENT PLANNING Log In to Campus Cruiser Go to WebAdvisor
Go to Student Planning under Registration tools
You will be redirected to Student Planning Home. From this screen you can navigate to My Progress, Plan & Schedule, and the Course Catalog. Any pertinent notifications will appear in the upper right hand corner of your screen. My Progress You can view your active program(s) At a Glance and the Requirements/Subrequirements within your program(s). You can view courses Not Started, Planned, In-Progress, and Completed; Grades, Term, and Credits. NOTE: Students with a financial hold are unable to view their grades and/or register.
Plan & Schedule View your current Schedule or planned courses/sections by navigating terms. NOTE: You can add/delete terms as necessary.
You can also view your current schedule or planned courses/sections in Timeline view. NOTE: You can add/delete terms as necessary.
PLAN COURSES/SECTIONS Go to My Progress and select a course you wish to plan. Or go directly to the Course Catalog if you want to search for Courses and Course Sections.
This brings you to the Course Catalog from which you can Add Course to Plan in a later term, or View Available Sections and Add Section to Schedule. For active sections, you can view what term(s) the course is offered, how many seats are available, times in which the class meets, if any, locations, and instructors.
Add Course to Plan Select the Term you wish to plan to take the course. You will receive a notification when a course is successfully added to your plan.
Add Section to Schedule Select Grading, if applicable. You will receive a notification when a section is successfully added to your schedule.
Proceed and add all courses/sections to your schedule/plan. Return to My Progress to see planned courses/sections.
You can choose to plan your entire program if you choose by loading a Sample Course Plan, if applicable, or manually planning courses/sections.
Sample Course Plans are only available for some programs. You will receive an error message if you attempt to load a Sample Course Plan for a program that does not have one. Regardless, you will need to manually add/remove terms/courses from your plan as it does not account for electives of any kind.
Return to Plan & Schedule to see planned courses/sections and Request Review from your advisor. Once courses have been approved, you can adjust your schedule, if applicable, and Register Now for all courses; or Register for individual courses during your registration date/time. NOTE: You will receive a notification “You are not eligible for registration,” if applicable.
Return to Plan & Schedule to see a Timeline of your program.
If you wish to adjust your current/planned schedule, view/select other sections of planned/registered courses. NOTE: if registering for a different section, Drop the section you are already registered for before registering for another section. Section meeting information will appear on the schedule to assist in planning sections around sections you have already planned or registered for. Request Review from your advisor again, if applicable.
Similarly, you can add/delete planned courses from Schedule or Timeline view.
CHANGE OF MAJOR You can view your progress in a new program by selecting View a New Program. You will be prompted to search for a program or select one from the list.
You can navigate active and proposed programs and delete proposed programs you no longer wish to view. NOTE: you need to complete a Change of Major/Minor form in order to end current program(s) and begin new program(s).
What Courses Should I Take? Why? What Are My Career and Life Goals?
All academic curricula require that you take specific courses as well as 12 credits in each of the following areas: humanities, social sciences, and math/science. These fulfill your distribution requirements. This is an important part of your education. Taking a range of courses in the liberal arts will give you the intellectual tools you need to think critically, creatively, and independently. When you and your advisor choose courses to fulfill the distribution requirements, think about how these divergent fields fit together, complement one another, and call each other into question. Your ability to synthesize different points of view and different areas of knowledge through these requirements will help you to make sense of your education and the complex world beyond the university. Also note that you are required to complete four Writing Enriched courses to graduate. These courses are denoted with (W) online on WebAdvisor. Are there courses that would satisfy your distribution requirements as well as fit into your career aspirations? Absolutely! Examples of Humanities include: ARTS, AH, AS, CRWR, ENGL (130+), HIST, MUS, PHIL, THTR, and modern languages. *See the Undergraduate Catalog for course titles, descriptions, prerequisites, and corequisites. Examples of Math and Science include: MATH, ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, CSCI, ENVR, ESSC, and PHYS. *See the Undergraduate Catalog for course titles, descriptions, prerequisites, and corequisites. Examples of Social Sciences include: ANTH, CJ, COMS, POLS, PSY, and SOC. *See the Undergraduate Catalog for course titles, descriptions, prerequisites, and corequisites.
What if you don’t know what you would like to major in or what your career aspirations are? You are certainly not alone. Being undecided is very common at most colleges. The most important thing you need to do is to explore. This may be accomplished by meeting with your academic advisor and taking courses from areas that you think may interest you, researching careers and talking to your professors. Another valuable place on campus for career exploration is Career Services. Where is Career Services located? _____________________________ What is the phone number for Career Services? _________________________ Career Services has career counselors who will assist you in analyzing your strengths and aptitudes and the types of careers you would be best suited for. You can also take Focus2, a career interest inventory online in the Campus Cruiser office page of Career Services and then meet with a Career Services counselor. If you are unsure about your major or career plans, make an appointment with Career Services, visit their website, or visit their office in Campus Cruiser.
Glossary of Key Terms
It is often said that academicians speak a different language. In many ways this is true. There are a variety of academic terms that you may hear but are not yet familiar to you. This glossary serves as an introduction to some of these terms. Closed course – a course that is filled to capacity. Look for an alternate and keep looking at WebAdvisor for openings. Corequisites – two courses that must be taken simultaneously. For example, CHEM 105 (lecture) must be taken with CHEM 106 (lab). Credits – the means by which your academic progress is measured. Typically they represent the number of hours spent in a particular class each week. For example, an accounting class that meets three hours per week would be considered a three credit course and a math class that meets four hours per week is a four credit course. This is not always the case as some classes will meet more hours each week than the number of credits they are worth. Physical education courses are 0.5 credits and Pass/No Pass. In addition, if you complete a season of a varsity sport, you may receive one credit for Physical Education. You must register for PE 200 for the semester your sport ends. Undergraduate degree programs at Widener require 120-137 credits. Drop/add – the process of dropping one course and adding another. During the first of each semester, you have the ability to drop a course or section online and try to add another course or section. It is important to make sure you can add a course before dropping one to keep the correct amount of credits. Also, if you do make changes to your courses online be sure to discuss these change with your advisor. G.P.A. – Grade Point Average – a numerical means of calculating the composite of all of your grades. Widener uses a 4.0 scale. Referring to your Undergraduate Catalog, what are the numerical values of the following grades? (How to Calculate Your G.P.A. is on the next page.)
A _____ A- _____ B+ _____ B _____ B- _____ C+ _____ C _____ C- _____ D+ _____ D _____ F _____
Prerequisite – a course that must be taken before you can take another; for example, PSY 105 is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses. This means that you must successfully master the material in PSY 105 before you are allowed to move on to the material in other psychology courses. Pay close attention for specific prerequisites for each course that you want to register. Repetition of course form – form needed when you are repeating a course. Various signatures are needed. When this form has been entered at Enrollment Services, your most current grade will be reflected in your GPA and your first grade will no longer have weight in your GPA but will always remain on your transcript. Withdraw – as compared to courses that you drop that do not have a permanent record, courses that you withdraw from stay on your academic record. Please note the deadline for class withdrawal without academic penalty each semester as listed on the academic calendar.
How to Calculate Your GPA
Course # of Credits x Grade Points = Quality Points
PSY 105 3 x C = 2 = 6
HIST 100 3 x F = 0 = 0
SPAN 101 3 x B- = 2.7 = 8.1
MATH 117 3 x A = 4 = 12
ENGL 101 3 x B = 3 = 9
FRS 101 1 x A = 4 = 4
TOTAL 16 39.1
39.1 Total Quality Points ÷ 16 Total Credits = 2.44 WORKSHEET
Course # of Credits x Grade Points = Quality Points
TOTAL _______ ________
_____ Total Quality Points ÷ _____ Total Credits = _________
SCHEDULE Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 8:00
8:15 8:30 8:45 9:00
10:15 10:30 10:45 11:00
11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00
1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00
2:15 2:30 2:45 3:00
4:15 4:30 4:45
The purpose of this chapter is to: • review Widener’s Academic Integrity Statement; • review Widener’s definition of academic fraud and the penalties for committing academic fraud; • examine a definition of plagiarism. Pre-reading questions: 1. What are Widener’s expectations for academic integrity? 2. What constitutes cheating at Widener University? 3. If you are caught cheating, what penalties might you suffer? 4. What is plagiarism?
College and university campuses are tolerant places. Within very broad limits students can say what they want and conduct themselves the way they want. However, there are high expectations for academic integrity and there is no tolerance for cheating. If a student does not live up to Widener’s standards for academic integrity, he or she can get into very serious difficulty including the most serious difficulty of all: expulsion. But before the penalties for violations of our standards are examined, the expectations for academic integrity and definition of academic fraud at Widener University should be explored. Consulting your Widener Undergraduate Catalog, review the section “Standards for Academic Integrity.” Reviewing Widener’s definition you will find that violations of the standards for academic integrity constitute _________________________________. Give two examples of activities in addition to cheating that fall under this larger category.
It is very important to note that Widener’s definition of academic fraud starts with the inclusive statement “Academic fraud consists of any actions that serve to undermine the integrity of the academic process…” It also is important to note as stated in the catalog “In addition each University program may have specific acts particular to the discipline which constitute academic fraud.” Plagiarism is one of the offenses specifically cited in Widener’s policy on academic fraud. Students often get into trouble with plagiarism because they do not understand the full meaning of the term. Presented below is a statement on plagiarism written by a Widener faculty member. Review it carefully asking yourself if in high school you every plagiarized either intentionally or unintentionally (Be honest with yourself. No one is going to turn you in to your high school authorities.)
STATEMENT ON PLAGIARISM
Plagiarism is a serious offense. Every part of the written work you hand in should be your own, unless credit is given by way of a specific footnote. The New World Dictionary defines “to plagiarize” as “to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one’s own.” (New York: World Publishing Co., Inc., 1974), p. 1087. Please note that the important idea here is taking someone else’s ideas.
To cite another source, the Harbrace College Handbook relates the following: “If you fail to acknowledge borrowed material, then you are plagiarizing. Plagiarism is literary theft. When you copy the words of another, be sure to put those words inside quotation marks and to acknowledge the source with a footnote. When you paraphrase the words of another, use your own words and your own sentence structure, and be sure to give a footnote citing the source of the idea. A plagiarist often merely changes a few words or rearranges the words in the source.” (Harbrace College Handbook, edited by John C. Hodges, 7th edition [New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972], p. 421.) I would particularly emphasize that simply changing words to clothe someone else’s idea(s) is still plagiarism, unless an acknowledging footnote is used. One final clarification: oftentimes students talk about assignments among themselves, discussing, say, the theme of a poem or its imagery. This is healthy activity, and I encourage the practice. However, in no case should a student who is writing a paper use the paper (or notes, etc.) of another student in order to write his/her own essay. The interpretation of the piece of literature, the wording of your analysis, and the organization of your arguments should be solely your own. IN INTERPRETING THE ABOVE, FOLLOW THIS RULE: If you should have any doubts, use a footnote.
In addition to citing plagiarism as academic fraud, a number of other forms of fraud are identified in the Widener Catalog. Most of violations mentioned are fairly clear cut such as the prohibition or the duplication of test materials. Many times, however, cases of academic fraud are not clear cut. Consider the following situation.
You have studied hard for your Psychology 105 mid-term exam and you feel confident you will do well on the test. When Professor Stewart distributes the multiple choice exam you quickly see your confidence was justified because even a fast scan of the questions leaves no doubt in your mind that you know the material on the test. In an optimistic frame of mind you begin the exam. About half way through the test, you get a feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder. You glance around and notice that Mark just has averted his eyes away from your direction. You dismiss his movements as coincidence. A few moments later, however, you notice the same thing happening and it crosses your mind that Mark may be trying to look at your answer sheet. When you see Mark for a third time peering in your direction, you are a little more sure. In fact, you are just short of certain
that he is trying to cheat but time is running out so you concentrate on finishing your exam. You figure that if Mark was trying to see your test, that was his problem. You knew the material and did nothing wrong. After the exam as you are walking to your next class, Mark comes up to you and says “(expletive deleted), that was a tough test. How do you think you did? I sure hope you did well.” The following week when Professor Stewart returns the exam, not only do you find that you did not do as well as you thought you would but something more troubling happens: he asks Mark and you to meet him after class. With a sinking heart you think of what you are going to say if Professor Stewart indicates he saw an uncanny similarity between the questions Mark and you got right and wrong. What are you going to say? Where do you think you stand in light of Widener’s academic fraud policies? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
At Widener there are heavy penalties for academic fraud. To find what the penalties are, consult your Widener Catalog. What would have been the penalty for Mark (and perhaps for you) if Prof. Stewart had concluded cheating had occurred? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Research has shown that at one time or another the majority of students in college cheat. Research also has shown that most students cheat because they fear failure more than they fear getting caught or believe they will not get caught. What do you think the primary reasons are for cheating or other kinds of academic fraud? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________
GETTING INVOLVED: LIFE OUTSIDE THE
The purpose of this chapter is to: • discuss the benefits of belonging to a campus organization; • help you identify campus groups you might like to join; • facilitate your joining a group. Pre-reading questions: 1. How does belonging to an affiliation group affect your chances of graduating from Widener? 2. What are two of the ways you can benefit from belonging to a group? 3. What kind of group do you think you would like to join at Widener?
Getting Involved: Life Outside the Classroom
Analysis of retention/attrition information about Widener students indicates a student is much more likely to graduate if he or she belongs to an affiliation group on campus. Retention statistics also indicate that it does not make much difference what affiliation group a person joins, the important fact is that students who belong to a group graduate at a higher rate than those who do not. Why does belonging to a group lead to higher graduation rates? When you think about it a couple of common sense reasons come to mind. • You will meet new people and develop new relationships. Typically, when freshmen
arrive on campus they know few other people and, consequently, feel socially isolated. To compensate for the feeling of loneliness many students latch on and hold tightly to the nearest other new students – their roommates, students in their orientation group or other commuters hanging around the snack bar. In the short run, this survival technique is just fine and often times many enduring friendships grow between students whom fate has thrown together. In the long run, however, if you want to develop satisfying new relationships you will have to move beyond the circle of acquaintances the housing office or the orientation program has provided. Joining a group is a good way to break out of freshman isolation and to begin to build new friendships. When things go poorly in your classes (and they may) or when you discover that your roommate rarely bathes or that your car has broken down even though you just spent $1000 to have it fixed, it will be these new friendships that will sustain you and keep you going even when everything about your life is wrong.
• Belonging to a group will help you organize your time. When asked if they plan to join an organization, the first response of many students is “I’d like to, but I just don’t have the time.” While this response is understandable, in most cases it simply runs contrary to the facts. Students who participate in organizations (or work) tend to manage their time better than students who have few commitments outside of class. For example, student athletes tend to do better academically when their sport is in season then when it is not. This is because student athletes know that when their sport is in season they regularly must practice, travel to away games, and fulfill numerous similar responsibilities. They have little or no time to waste so they plan their days accordingly and get things done. However, when a student athlete’s sport is out-of-season, there seems like there is so much time to spare that somehow days just slip away, assignments don’t get done, and grades go down. The same is true for students who work (if they work fewer than fifteen hours per week). The operative principle is that within reasonable limits the more a student has to do the more that gets done and conversely, the less a student has to do, the less that gets done.
Can you think of some other ways belonging to a group can help you be successful at Widener? Try to identify two additional ways and list them below. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Obviously, joining a group just to join a group has a high potential for being an unproductive experience. Before joining a group you should be mindful of your own interests and what you realistically expect to get out of the group you join. For example, if you are interested in public relations, you might want to join CREW or give tours for the Admissions Office. List below three of your interests or things you have always wanted to do (for example, be a member of a student government or play rugby).
________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
Now, go online to Campus Life to Student Organizations or in Campus Cruiser under clubs and list below an organization or organizations you might want to join in view of your interests. Organization _______________________________ Advisor _________________ Organization _______________________________ Advisor _________________ Organization _______________________________ Advisor _________________ Once you have identified an organization you would like to join, the question arises: how do you become a member. Clearly, different methods are required to join different kinds of organizations. How you become a member of a fraternity or sorority differs from how you join the staff of Widener’s Yearbook or how you become a member of the Jazz Ensemble. List below the specific steps you would take to join the organization of your choice. To do this you may want to consult your student handbook or visit the Student Life Office in University Center, lower level. _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
Appendix 1: Reading to Recall
Try using Recall Diagrams when taking notes from a textbook or listening to a classroom lecture. A Recall Diagram consists of the following basic parts: Main idea of the passage, section • Details, examples (no full sentences) • Details, examples (no full sentences) • Details, examples (no full sentences) • Continue listing details under this main idea until the idea shifts (when the professor goes on to another topic or you encounter a new heading/section in the textbook) * This passage/section reminds me of . . . Exercise Practice using a recall diagram using the following material on abolitionist John Brown. Compare your recall diagram with a classmate’s diagram. What differences/similarities do you notice? Now try a recall diagram on a section of a textbook and while taking notes in class. Chowder, Ken. “The Father of American Terrorism.” American Heritage February/March 2000. 13 Sept. 2007 <http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/2000/1/2000_1_81.shtml> Brown was a violent man, but he lived in increasingly violent times. Slavery itself was of course a violent practice. In 1831 Nat Turner led seventy slaves to revolt; they killed fifty-seven white men, women, and children. A few years later a clergyman named Elijah Lovejoy was gunned down for speaking out against slavery. By the 1850s another distinguished clergyman, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, could lead a mob to the federal courthouse in Boston and attack the place with axes and guns. “I can only make my life worth living,” Higginson vowed, “by becoming a revolutionist.” During the struggle in Kansas Henry Ward Beecher’s Plymouth Church in Brooklyn was blithely shipping Sharps rifles west; “there are times,” the famous preacher said, “when self- defense is a religious duty.” By the late fifties, writes the historian James Stewart, even Congress was “a place where fist fights became common … a place where people came armed … a place where people flashed Bowie knive.” On February 5, 1858, a brawl broke out between North and South in the House of Representatives; congressmen rolled on the floor, scratching and gouging each other. 2009 — Reading and Writing Prepared by Jayne Thompson, M.A.
Avoiding Plagiarism What is plagiarism? A standard dictionary definition says that plagiarism occurs when a writer takes words and/or ideas for a source and presents them as his or her own words or ideas. The word plagiarism comes from the Latin word for kidnapper. A plagiarist steals words, thoughts, or ideas from another person and passes them off as his or her own. Don’t be an “idea napper”: Use your own words or use quotation marks when using someone else’s words, and give credit when you include ideas that come from other sources. What are students saying about plagiarism? “In the long run, you are cheating yourself and deteriorating your academic performance. College professors are not as forgiving as high school teachers. They will not accept ignorance as an excuse.” Andre Ellerbe Jr. ’12 “Avoiding plagiarism can be a very tough thing to do as an incoming college student. It can be difficult to summarize assignments because you cannot figure out a way to say something without using the author’s words. Try these strategies: • Practice putting the author’s words in your own words. Be confident. • Go to the Writing Center with your paper or to talk about plagiarism. • Read the paragraph and get a good feel for what it is about, cover the paragraph, and write down only what you remember. This will stop you from thinking of the same words from the paragraph. • Make sure you understand what you are reading. • Be sure to cite your sources, even when you are summarizing. • Use your English handbook for pointers. • Use Turnitin.com. • Ask your professor for help.” Gareth Cooper ’12 Try this exercise on plagiarism on the next 2 pages. Each of the student versions is an example of plagiarism. Write your own version of the original without plagiarizing. Provide source citations.
Original from Edward Barnes; found on page 31: “In the inner-city world of drugs, random violence isn’t what kills children or robs them of their childhood. What kills them is their position in the drug trade: These kids, some as young as eight, have become the retailers in a business that is more dependent on child labor than any 19th century sweatshop. On the street corners, those over twenty still doing business are considered “old-timers.” Barnes, Edward. “Children of the Damned.” Life June 1990:30-41 Student version: Edward Barnes contends that illegal drug dealing is more dependent on child labor than any 19th century sweatshop (31). ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Original from Joseph Campbell; found on page 61: It is not easy for Westerners to realize that the ideas recently developed in the West of the individual, his selfhood, his rights, and his freedom, have no meaning in many parts of the Orient. They had no meaning for primitive man. They would have meant nothing to the people of the early Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, or Indian cultures. They are, in fact, repugnant to the ideals, the aims and orders of life of most of the peoples of this earth. Campbell, Joseph. Myths to Live By. New York: Bantam, 1972. Student version: Joseph Campbell asserts that the Western ideal of individual rights and freedom would have meant nothing to the peoples of the early Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, or Indian cultures and even today are contrary to the aims and order of life of most of the people on this earth (61). ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Original from William Henry, found on page 89. Although most newspapers this year will retain about 15% of their revenues as profit, a margin that many other businesses would envy, and although the most acute financial problems seem to be cyclical, many editors and analysts fear that the industry faces long-term trouble. The biggest problem is a steady decline in reader interest. In 1946, for every 100 households, there were 133 newspapers sold. Today that figure is halved. Henry, William A. “Getting Bad News Firsthand.” Newsweek 29 Oct. 1990: 89. Student version: A recent Newsweek article suggests that newspapers face long-term financial problems because Americans are simply not reading newspapers as much, with the newspaper-to-household ratio dropping fifty percent in the past fifty years. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Please note: “What is plagiarism?” and the exercise that follows are taken from Writing with Integrity: A Guide to Representing Sources Responsibly in Academic Writing— compiled by Susan Waller, Writing Center, Widener University.
The Academic Vocabulary Below are some terms commonly used in the academic setting–in assignments, in textbooks, and on quizzes and tests. Define the following terms using a dictionary. List other terms you have been introduced to since coming to Widener University at the bottom of the exercise. 1. abstract
Please note: The list of vocabulary terms presented is a shortened version of a list compiled by Jim Burke © Jim Burke Visit www.englishcompanion.com for more information.
The University Writing Center Where is the Writing Center? Old Main Annex – First Floor 610-499-4332 What is the Writing Center? Serving the entire University community, the Writing Center provides help for any writing assignment regardless of the course. At the Writing Center you will work one on one with an instructor whose job is to meet your individual needs. Whether you are just beginning an assignment and are stuck developing a topic or are in the final stages and need help putting the finishing touches on a paper, the Writing Center can help. What can it do for me? From the basics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling to brainstorming, organizing, outlining, drafting, and revising, even word processing, the Writing Center can help you produce your paper. Instructors, many of whom teach courses in English and communications at Widener, offer guidance for anything from single paragraphs to longer writing projects, including those that entail library research and documentation procedures. Besides essays and research papers, the Writing Center assists students with lab reports, clinical reports, even resumes and cover letters. Even if you don’t have a specific writing assignment, the Writing Center is available to help brush up your written communication skills, offering instruction in basic grammar, punctuation, syntax, and producing more effective sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Students often come to the Writing Center for regular weekly appointments, regardless of whether they have a specific writing assignment or not. This kind of regular, personalized instruction is available to all Widener students. Our writing instructors are also trained to work with students for whom English is a second language. Whether working on a specific assignment or looking for focused instruction in general language skills, bilingual students are welcome at the Writing Center. In addition to our conferencing area, the Writing Center’s computer lab has eight computers for student use. If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Word, our staff can help with familiarization and tutorials to help you learn to write more efficiently via computer. Do I need an appointment? It is best to make an appointment at the Writing Center, especially during busy periods like midterms and the end of the semester, but “walk-in” students are always welcome and will be seen immediately if an instructor is available. Making an appointment, however, guarantees you a full 30-50-minute session with the instructor of your choice when it’s convenient for you. Just call the Writing Center at 610-499-4332.
What should I bring? If you have begun working on an assignment, bring whatever materials you have, such as notes, an outline, or a draft of your paper. For research papers, bring as much of your original source material as possible. BE SURE TO BRING A COPY OF THE ASSIGNMENT! This is one of the best ways to make sure the Writing Center instructor helps you fulfill your professor’s expectations. Together, you and the instructor can examine the assignment to ensure you meet the criteria set by your professor. If you have been working on a computer, it’s also a good idea to bring your disk in case you and the instructor want to print out a new copy or work together at the keyboard. What are students saying about the Writing Center? “Every time I go the Writing Center, I find wonderful instructors waiting to help me. Last semester I took an English course, and I wrote many assignments. I received grades below 80 on my first drafts. However, on the final draft I received grades in the 90s because I went to the Writing Center for the final drafts.” Abdullah Binmahfooz ’11 “When you go to the Writing Center, you receive help from actual English professors on campus. Schedule appointments ahead of time. Appointments fill up fast!” Samantha Gaynor ’12
Appendix 2: Classroom Conduct The following are general guidelines for student conduct in class: • Class Preparation: Preparation for class and participation in discussions are expected. This means completing all required assignments before the class in which they are due so you are comfortable in participating in discussions. • Courtesy/Respect: Students need to remain courteous and respectful to fellow students, the professor, and guests at all times. This means students must remain alert and awake in class. Falling asleep in class is discourteous and disrespectful. Moreover, students should only be talking when asking or responding to questions, unless otherwise required by the professor. Talking over someone or having side conversations while the professor is teaching or another student is talking is extremely discourteous and distracting. It is crucial that the learning environment be one that is open and inviting for all. • Cell Phones: Cell phones should be put away and placed on silent so they do not become a distraction in class. Students should never text or speak on their cell phone during class. Again, this is disruptive and takes your focus away from the learning environment. • Computers: You should check with the professor to see if he or she allows laptops in class. If students do use laptops, it should be done in a way that is not distracting to anyone in the class. If students are in a computer lab, computers should only be used when requested by the professor. Using computers during class time should only be for materials pertaining to the class, and not other websites, e-mails, instant messaging, etc. • Honesty/Academic Integrity: All tests and assignments are to be the work of the individual student unless otherwise noted by the professor. Additionally, any intellectual property of others (information used from other sources) that is used in your work, must be citied in an appropriate documentation style. Your professor will indicate the style he or she prefers. The Widener Undergraduate Catalog has a section that clearly outlines the Academic Policies, Procedures, and Regulations. Please see the professor with any questions regarding what constitutes academic fraud. Honesty is the best policy. Be forthright and upfront with your professor if a problem arises. For example, if you overslept and missed an exam, communicate that, rather than a fabricated story. Professors are typically more empathetic to your situation when you are forthright. • Dress: It is important to not wear any clothing with inappropriate sayings that may offend someone. Pajamas and revealing clothing is never appropriate. If you need to dress in a certain manner, such as business attire, the professor will advise you.
• Disagreement: If you have a disagreement with your professor, it should be addressed in private outside of the regular class. For example, if you have a question about a grade, you should request to see the professor after class or schedule an appointment to see him or her at a later time. However, at no time should you address any disagreement with your professor or others in front of the class. • Attendance: Classroom attendance is a critical part of the educational experience. Students should not take this responsibility lightly and should make every effort to attend each class. Students should contact the professor before a planned absence or immediately after, if the absence was unanticipated. Students should be familiar with the University and individual class policy for excessive absenteeism. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any information missed while absent. • Tardiness: It is disruptive when students arrive late to class. This distraction is not fair to the professor or other students. Students should be familiar with the University and individual class policy for excessive tardiness. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the professor has marked them as attending class.
Proper Communication The following are general guidelines for proper communication: • Communicating in Class: When addressing professors it is important that you address them professionally. This means if your professor has earned a doctorate, you should address them as “Dr. *Last Name*”. If your professor has not earned a doctorate or if you are not sure, you should address them as “Professor *Last Name*”. You should not address your professors by their first name, unless they have specifically told you that is how they like to be addressed. Likewise, you should also be professional and respectful to your peers in class. You should not use nicknames or slang that you use outside of the classroom. • Communicating by E-mail: When you write an e-mail to any professor, administrators, or staff on campus, make sure you are writing in a professional manner. The e-mail should be formal, as if you were typing a letter to that person. Be sure to include “Dear Dr. *Last Name*”, at the beginning and sign your name at the end. You should always check spelling and grammar after typing an e-mail. Widener’s campus cruiser has a spell check function, but you should also proofread it yourself. Identify yourself and your class either in the subject line or early in the email. Be careful of the tone you are using while typing. Remember, the reader may interpret something different than the author intended in an e-mail based upon the tone.
You should also give an appropriate amount of time to respond to an e-mail. Typically 24 business hours is acceptable. If you have an immediate need, you should then call the department/professor or stop by his/her department or office. It is also important to know that if you are emailing at night or on the weekend, in most cases you may not get a return e-mail until regular business hours. • Communicating by Phone: When you make a phone call to any professor, administrator, or staff on campus, make sure you leave a clear message, with your first and last name, phone number, and reason for your call. You should expect a return call within one business day. • Communicating by Office Hours: Keep in mind that every professor has office hours. Office hours can be found on your syllabus. In addition, many professors keep their office hours posted on their office door, and many post sign-up times as well. Refer to your syllabus to see how your professor prefers to be contacted.
Connection to the World Outside of Widener • All of the guidelines and suggestions that are mentioned above are not just important while you are a student here at Widener University. These rules can lead to great success in your career if you follow them, or failure if you choose not to. As in any aspect of your time here at Widener, you will be given the tools and the support to be successful. We encourage you to use these tools as you begin your lifetime of learning both at Widener and beyond. 2009 — Classroom Conduct Additional Reading: Prepared by: Jeffrey C. Lolli, M.S., CHE, Scott Rappaport, M.S., and Amy Yarlett, M.S.
Appendix 3: The Faces of Diversity on Your College Campus
As you begin your freshman year on campus, you will see that there is diversity within your dorm, your classroom, and your campus. For Fall 2016, about 23% of the undergraduate day student body identified as minority (American Indian, Asian, African American, Native Hawaiian, or two/more races) (Widener University, Factbook). Yes, there are different races, different ethnicities, and men and women on this campus. But the term “diversity” is much broader than these categories may portray. What exactly, then, does “diversity” mean? One broad definition indicates the following: “Diversity refers to qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong; but that are manifested in other individuals and groups”(“Diversity in the Workplace,” ¶ 2). On the college campus, valuing diversity means that we will try to foster an environment that respects and includes differences. We want to recognize the contributions that every individual makes and create a positive university experience for all who attend. In fact, one of the goals of Widener University is to develop a university community whose diversity enriches the lives of all members (Widener University, 2009, ¶ 1). Primary Dimensions of Diversity: Many differences between students on campus are “visible.” In most cases, you can actually see the differences. In essence they may be more obvious. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that some of these differences are innate — you’ve been born with a certain set of chromosomes, a certain color skin, and a certain ethnic background. These are typically the differences that we notice (Guion, 2005): • Race • Ethnic Background • Gender • Age • Physical Disabilities (some) • Sexual Orientation (may be a combination of innate and environmental factors) There is actually little that we can do about these differences. You were born in a certain year; that can’t change. You were born with white skin or dark skin; that doesn’t change. Possibly, you were born from Hispanic or Asian parents; that can’t change, either. And so we have a whole set of differences that are innate and often quite visible, and yet, these characteristics were not chosen by the individual. And fair or not, many of us have grown up with or developed certain biases or stereotypes against people that may be different from us in these innate ways.
Secondary Dimensions of Diversity: Elements of diversity do not end with the set of primary dimensions listed above. In fact, some of the dimensions that separate us from one another are actually “acquired differences” —- those characteristics that we have developed and adopted as our own. These are the differences that we may or may not be able to quickly “see”, and therefore, we can easily offend others by acting or speaking with insensitivity. These dimensions might include (Guion, 2005): • Religion • Native language • Marital/family status • Socioeconomic background • Education • Military status • Sexual orientation/preference • Sexual Identity It is interesting that when students enter college, many have not been exposed to a diverse environment, and often truly believe that anyone who is different from them is actually “less.” This attitude is often the result of lack of awareness and education. Celebrate Diversity —- Are you Kidding? Whether in the workplace or on the college campus, diversity is something to be celebrated! We are living in a global economy. Truly, once you graduate from your university, you will be a part of the global marketplace, where valuing diversity will be one key to your success! It’s not really enough to tolerate the diverse population that surrounds you —- the Civil Rights Movement forced us to “tolerate” diversity. But, by celebrating a diverse population, you actually open your mind to different cultures, different perspectives, different traditions, and develop a more complete understanding of human beings. Through education, you actually learn to appreciate the differences that make up our society. On the college campus, valuing diversity will allow you to foster an environment that respects and includes differences, recognizing the unique contributions that individuals with many types of differences can make, and creating a university experience that maximizes the potential of all employees. Research on the college campuses has shown the following benefits to embracing diversity in your personal world (Humphreys, 1998): • More friendships on campus • Increased intellectual development • Increased cultural awareness • Decreased feelings of tension and discomfort in the classroom and socially By celebrating diversity, you allow yourself to appreciate people of different color, age, ethnic background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, economic background, etc. You see, it is not just any one dimension of diversity that truly defines a person.
Look at the World through Someone Else’s Glasses But HOW do you change your perceptions of someone? It may seem a difficult task. Yet, sometimes it only takes a simple conversation to view things differently…. 1. Recognize your biases. We all have them. Think about your biases and what stereotypes are coupled with those biases. 2. Treat every student with respect. Remember, before any individual is categorized in any of our diverse dimensions, he or she is first and foremost, a person —- just like you. He/she has a mind and a heart and a heritage and a desire to be a part of this college campus. You need not be like that person; just be respectful. 3. Make an effort to engage in conversation. It is amazing how much we can learn about each other through dialogue. And, the conversation can really be effortless. You simply start talking to each other. Perhaps the most effective way to diminish your biases is to make the attempt to get to know the other person. And, conversation is the beginning of developing a relationship. 4. Try to overcome your stereotypes. They can be dangerous, and they can be very hurtful to the person to whom those stereotypes are directed. Look at the world from someone else’s perspective. The viewpoints that you brought to college with you only belong to you; everyone has differences —- and that doesn’t make them wrong — or — less. It only makes them different. And so….. we challenge you! Find someone in your classroom or your dorm or your cafeteria who may be different from you. Have conversation with that person and find 20 things you have in common. By the end of the conversation, you’ll begin to see that are more alike than different. Prepared by: Joy P. Dickerson, Ed.D. and Jeffrey C. Lolli, Ed.D., CHE, CHIA
References Diversity in the workplace. Foothill De Anza Community College District, Human Resource Department. Retrieved January 28, 2009 from http://hr.fhda.edu/diversity/ Guion, L.A. (2005). An overview of diversity. Document number FCS9217. Retrieved February 9, 2009 from University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Web site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY75200.pdf Humphreys, D. (1998). The impact of diversity on college students: The latest research. Diversity Web. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from www.diversityweb.org/research_and_trends/research_evaluation_impact/benefits_of_di versity/impact_of_diversity.cfm Widener University (2009). Diversity at Widener. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from Widener University Website: http:// www.widener.edu/diversity/default.asp Widener University (2008, November). Common data set 2008/09. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from Widener University, Office of Institutional Research Web site: http://www.widener.edu/oir/commondata.asphttp://www.widener.edu/oir/commondata.asp
Widener University, FactBook 2012-2016. Office of Institutional Research website: http://www.widener.edu/about/widener_leadership/administrative/institutional_research/WUFactbo ok2016.pdf
- The Widener Experience
- Table of Contents
- Introduction – Welcome to Widener
- Chapter 1 YOU ARE HERE. WHY?
- A Brief History of Widener University
- How the University is Organized
- Deans and More Deans
- Some Other Academic Administrators You Should Know
- The Administration of Student Services and Academic Support Services
- Why Are You Here?
- First Semester Goals
- Chapter 2 THE CLOCK IS TICKING
- Time Use Analysis: Putting Time on Your Mind
- How to Build Your Schedule
- The Problem with Procrastination
- Your Procrastination Rating
- Chapter 3 COURSES AND CLASSES IN COLLEGE
- Courses and Classes in College
- Coping with the Lecture
- Chapter 4 STUDY SKILLS
- Study Skills Survey
- Learning Styles
- Creating Guide Questions for Improving Comprehension – Using the SQ3R Technique
- Strengthening Your Comprehension
- The Memory Process
- Remembering and Forgetting
- Note Taking Survey
- Notes Checklist Activity
- Note-taking Abbreviations
- The Cornell Note-taking System
- Chapter 5 YOUR COLLEGE TEXT: READING IS NOT LIKE WATCHING T.V.
- The W.I.D.E.N.E.R. Approach to Your College Texts
- Chapter 6 TEST TAKING SKILLS TEST ANXIETY
- Questions to Ask Before Exam
- Preparing For a Test
- How to Take Exams Effectively
- How To Take Essay Exams Effectively
- Taking Multiple Choice Exams
- True-False Tests
- Examining Returned Tests
- Test Anxiety Analysis
- Dealing with Test Anxiety
- Chapter 7 You, Your Advisor, and the Registration Process
- The Process
- Student Planning
- What Courses Should I Take? Why? What Are My Career and Life Goals?
- Glossary of Key Terms
- How to Calculate Your GPA
- Blank Schedule
- Chapter 8 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
- Academic Integrity
- Chapter 9 GETTING INVOLVED: LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
- Getting Involved: Life Outside the Classroom
- Appendix 1: Reading to Recall
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- The Academic Vocabulary
- The University Writing Center
- Appendix 2: Classroom Conduct
- Proper Communication
- Connection to the World Outside of Widener
- Appendix 3: The Faces of Diversity on Your College Campus
- Primary Dimensions of Diversity
- Secondary Dimensions of Diversity
- Celebrate Diversity —- Are you Kidding?
- Look at the World through Someone Else’s Glasses