November 28, 2015

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...]

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...]

Is Your Professor Holding Up a Stop Sign When You Speak? (Hint: Try an “I”!)

The next time you are in an argument with someone, I want you to do me a favor. Ready? Make a mental tally of how many times the word “you” is thrown around by yourself or your communication partner. (I know what you’re thinking: “Um, Ellen, a little too busy fighting here to think about how I’m doing it!”) Okay. I’ll buy that. Let’s try again: Think about your last argument. How many times did you or the other person take ownership of your thoughts, feelings, ideas, anger, etc. by … [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...]

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...]

The Don’t-Wait Class for Fall 2011 (Hint: It Can Help the Grades in ALL of Your Other Classes!)

What if I told you that one required core class can help your grades in nearly every single other class you have to take in college? What if I told you that a high percentage of students delay this particular class until graduation nears? “Wha… what?” you might be thinking. “Why would someone do that? A class that can help all the other classes? Heck, yeah… hitting that first! Why wait?” That’s right… you shouldn’t wait. Even if the class does include public speaking! (You knew there … [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...]

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...]

Boost Your Marketability from the Second You Step on Campus

As this blog post comes out, we are getting deeper into summer and your first days of college are still the furthest thing from your mind. So, I’ll save some student-prof talk for when we are closer to that time. For now, I’m going to ask you to start thinking about your future career—and I’m going to give you a job to do this summer: (Yes, I know you are covered in sunblock, sitting under an umbrella the size of a satellite dish, and enjoying a magazine that you haven’t been able to read … [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...]