NASC-1100-001            Our Physical World                      Dr. Anatoly Miroshnichenko        

                                                                     Tips for Success

1. Come to class. The course is important for you to learn about the world you live in.

2. Be prepared for the lecture. Look at the syllabus and read the relevant material in the book before you come to class.  Don't expect to understand everything at the first reading, but at least have an idea about what's going on.  After the lecture, re-read the chapter and make notes about the important concepts. Writing up your own thoughts allows you to carefully think through and organize all the details.  In particular, ask yourself questions to test your knowledge and try to apply what you are learning to simple situations to see if you get the correct answers. The homework assignments will assist you here.  Challenging your knowledge is a key step for correcting your misconceptions.  It is essential for your learning, and it will greatly assist your understanding of the material. Remember that for college-level work, you should expect to spend at least two hours of work outside of class for every hour of class time.

3. Ask questions during the lecture, if something is not clear to you.

4. Keep up with the course material.  In this course many concepts rely on your understanding of prior material.  If you get behind, you will quickly become lost.  The lectures will generally follow the textbook, although not everything in the book will be covered.

5. Do not think you are the only person, who does not understand something.  There are always new ideas and concepts in a course, and it will take a while to understand them. Please do not be reluctant to ask for extra help from me if something confuses you. You can send me e-mail with questions, come to my office during the hours posted on the course website, or set up an appointment at another time.

6. Form study groups
I strongly encourage you to form study groups (a group of two or three students that can get together on a regular basis) to talk about the homework problems and to study for exams.  These groups work best when all members participate equally. As they say, two (or three) heads are better than one. Also the different viewpoints and perspectives offered in a small group can help you see the problem from a different viewpoint and help you learn other ways of tackling a problem.  Try explaining your answers to the other members of the group. If you can’t explain it, you probably don’t understand it very well.  Also verbalizing the answer forces you to organize your thoughts so that you can present them in a logical argument.

7. Check out the recommended web links. The links contain useful information related to the course and may help you to understand the material better. The web materials may get you interested in particular problems. Interest is the best engine of learning. The links contain a lot of nice pictures to enjoy while learning.

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