Basic guidelines for good classroom ettiquette

By Mariah Schafer, Assistant features editor

When new students arrive on campus in the fall, they will have been going to class for more than half their lives. Sitting in a classroom might seem like a mechanical practice to them, so much so that they will be accustomed to being in that environment and might not give much thought into proper classroom etiquette. However, the actions of students in class can have a major impact on those sitting around them.

Don’t

Skip class.

When students are exhausted, they may consider not going to class. This behavior should be avoided if the reason for skipping class is pure laziness. Skipping class because you’re sick is a completely different story. The reasons for never skipping class are simple. When students skip class, they lose two important things: valuable information and money. Nothing is more important to students’ learning than being in class to absorb the information themselves. Relying on getting notes from others is not ideal. Whenever students feel tempted to not attend class, they should remind themselves that every lecture costs them money, so they are essentially throwing away money with every class they skip.

Arrive late.

Students should make every effort to arrive on time because arriving late can be disruptive, especially in quiet classrooms where opening a door can cause students to turn their heads toward that door. Sometimes arriving late is unavoidable if students have only ten minutes to cross the entire campus from one class to another. This situation is understandable, although students should have given that inconvenience more thought when creating their schedules. Getting to class thirty minutes late when the class has only fifty minutes is a terrible idea because students who arrive this late will miss most of the lecture.

Be disruptive.

This includes talking excessively to friends and eating entire meals in one class period. Basically, students should not do anything that could annoy others or take away their concentrations. In those cases, students should be careful not to make a lot of noise (and should check if they are allowed to eat in that classroom).

Surf the internet.

Students should not do this for their own benefit. When students get online, they lose track of the lecture and do not absorb the information being presented. In addition, their computer screens can distract others, who will be tempted to look at what website they are browsing. To avoid this, students should turn off their internet access during class so as to not harm their learning.

Do

Be prepared.

Students should show up to class with a backpack full of what they might need: laptops, notebooks, pencils, erasers, i-clickers, assignments, etc. This helps students focus on the lecture instead of focusing on asking people for a pencil they could borrow.   

Take notes. Taking notes is the most effective way to remember the material presented in class later. Simply paying attention to professors and listening to what they have to say is not enough. Some people say taking notes by hand facilitates comprehension, but others might prefer using laptops because they are faster typists than they are writers.

Ask questions.

Whenever students feel confused in class, they should ask their professors questions to clear up that confusion. If they cannot bring themselves to ask a question during class because of being shy or embarrassed, students should always try to stick around after class to ask their professors directly. Getting questions answered will help students understand the material so that they can perform better on their exams.

Pay attention.

Going to class will be pointless if students do not pay attention to what their professors have to say. Engaging in lectures is necessary for comprehension, so students should definitely listen in class.

Mariah is a junior in Media.
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