The Student in the Learning Process
To maintain a high level of learning and scholarly activity requires the following characteristics of the student learner:
a) Maintain an atmosphere of academic integrity, respect and civility.
A vibrant learning culture assumes honesty and integrity in one’s work. Academic integrity must be accepted as a way of life. Respect for teachers and fellow students and civility in voice and word is necessary.
b) Have a strong work ethic.
Quality learning requires a strong desire to learn, to relearn and to progress. A university education requires hard work and major time commitment (typically 48-64 hours/week for a 16-credit load). High quality effort is expected.
c) Manage their time wisely.
Quality learning requires sufficient time to study, analyze, absorb and synthesize knowledge into understanding. Careful organization and use of time are therefore essential, including beginning and completing assignments in a timely manner and allowing sufficient time to assimilate knowledge during exam preparation to maximize learning.
d) Participate actively in class.
Complete class attendance is assumed. A strong learner is an active participant in class, mentally and verbally, and students should come to class prepared to clarify understanding from out-of-class readings, assignments and previous lectures.
e) Properly approach out-of-class learning.
The student must understand that he or she is ultimately responsible for his/her own personal learning process and must respond responsibly to the instructions of the teacher to learn. It is essential that the learner make proper use of learning tools and strategies as directed by the teacher (reference material, assignment analysis, follow-up material, etc.). To learn well it is necessary that assigned readings be studied before class, and it is essential that material from previous courses be relearned when needed. Furthermore, the necessity of quality written and oral communication cannot be overemphasized for learning and the future career of the student. Students must seek help from the teacher and teaching assistant when needed and should take advantage of university-wide resources for learning if necessary. A healthy and balanced lifestyle is important.
f) Reflect on the educational process.
It is essential that the student recognize that learning is not memorization of facts, but rather development of understanding and the integration of knowledge. The learner must therefore assimilate new material with material from previous courses and must relearn material as necessary. It is useful to interact with colleagues in the assimilation and clarification of knowledge.
g) Perform self-assessment.
A student learner should regularly evaluate his/her strengths and weaknesses, effectiveness of study habits, level of responsibility in learning, and progress toward educational goals. Effort should be continually directed to improve weaknesses, and to strengthen oral and written communication skills and group interaction skills. Student portfolios to record and track progress can be useful for this purpose.
Who makes a difference in the experience of first-year students?
Nominate faculty, staff, or student:
- First Year Seminar for Students
- About Berks