August 28, 2016

Putting Your Term on “Pause”: How to Talk to Your Prof About an Incomplete

My father unexpectedly died just three weeks before I finished a fall semester at my former community college. Instead of finding out what my options were, I simply stopped going to classes and I ultimately failed those classes. Had I gone to see my profs, I could have learned that there may have been another option available for me: The “Incomplete” or “I” grade. What's an Incomplete? I'll give you an example: Let's say you are watching a movie on your DVR or on a Netflix … [Read more...]

What to Say About That Retake

Hello, Campus Talk Blog community! I am a seasoned professor of over 13 years and an award-winning educator and public speaker. And here I am starting my first blog post by piggybacking on another blog post. That’s right: One that’s been written by somebody else! Let me explain: When I received the opportunity to join Campus Talk Blog, I, of course, looked at the articles already written. When I came across Reconnect After Your Exam to Make Up for Lost Ground from Tawan Perry, I was … [Read more...]

5 Tips for being a strong online student

(Hello, CTB readers! A version of this post recently ran on my own blog, but I asked CTB to reprint it because the information within is timely and important. Although I have taught face-to-face for years, I largely teach hybrid (part online, part F2) or online now due to having two small kids and enjoying the schedule flexibility. I’ve been nationally recognized for my online work three times, so I’m pretty passionate about it. As a student, you are going to come across a fair number of … [Read more...]

Are You Asking for Help? It’s the New Smart!

(This post is another retool from my Chatty Professor blog. I wrote it as a welcome to college love letter, if you will. My revision of this message for Campus Talk Blog is a continued personal plea: Don’t suffer in silence! Read on… then start asking! You can even write into this blog and ask a question—I’m glad to help.) You’ve just received an assignment or exam with a grade that you aren’t happy about. Or maybe you didn’t submit an assignment at all because you were confused. You … [Read more...]

Tutor your way into work experience and the job market!

Here is a student question I received in person at the end of one of my “Chatty Professor” college presentations: "I'm in an Intermediate Calculus class and am acing it. I feel like going to class isn't worth it. I could just go on test days and be fine. I talked to the instructor and he sort of said that would be okay. My mom does not think it's okay. What do I do to make my mom happy, but not have to sit through a class where I already know what's going on?" Now, I get that many students … [Read more...]

‘Like’ is awesome on Facebook – but not a criteria for grading

Let's talk about two different students: Student A and Student B. (I know, you are blown away by my creativity in characterization!) Student A came to my office all the time, frequently stayed after class to chat, shared career goals, family background, etc. We had a very good relationship; our conversations were always engaging and enjoyable. Student A started strong: Early submissions for me to review. Excellent grades. Later in the term? Student A's proactiveness fell off. Life apparently … [Read more...]

Know how class participation points are calculated. Here’s how to ask.

Does your prof give points for participation? If so, do you know how that grade is calculated? I know when I'd see "participation" mentioned in my college syllabi. . . with no clear explanation of how those points happened, I always wondered if the prof made little checks next to my name every time I opened my mouth in class. Or, did my mere presence in class presume my participation? Or, was there an entirely different, more objective formula for calculating those points that I didn't know … [Read more...]

Are You “Shoulding On” Other People? Are Others “Shoulding” On You?

A little break from the student/professor dynamic and into a little communication strategy! This is a favorite lesson/discussion from my Interpersonal class. Useful for in college and out! I have a confession to make. I'm a worrier. At times, when I tell others about what is worrying me, depending on what I'm sharing, the well-intentioned response is: -"You shouldn't feel that way" or -"You shouldn't be concerned about that." The tone around the phrase is not condescending, … [Read more...]

Do you have to sound brilliant in order to speak out in class?

Do you sit in class and worry about whether you should or shouldn’t speak up? Do you try to get your words just right in your mind before you’ll raise your hand? Then, by the time you’re ready to speak, the class has moved on to something else and you’ve lost your confidence? It’s not a surprise that as a student, you are expected to add to classroom discussions, to assert your ideas/opinions/thoughts in a respectful way... to contribute to a shared, rich learning community. You are expected … [Read more...]

Get Your Prof to “Notice You” for the Right Reasons

Many college success guides and blogs include this advice: "Get your professor to notice you." (I've also seen this variation: "Get your professor to like you."). From a student perspective, getting a prof to notice and like you sounds like a good thing, doesn't it? If a prof "notices you", maybe you'll get better grades, or the class will be easier. If the prof "likes you", maybe you can turn in work late or you can be absent more, right? With those benefits that will likely not happen … [Read more...]