Our Physical World
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
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
3. Ask questions during
the lecture, if something is not clear to you.
4. Keep up with the course
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
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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