From Professors to You – How to Excel in A New Semester.

(Source: Flickr/Keenan Mosimann)

Recently, reporter Jackie Kasner contacted select professors from Sinclair Community College, asking them for advice on the following question: “What would they want any incoming student to know?” Here is what she found.

“Be patient [and] stay connected, even if it’s only through email, text or discussions, and stay curious about everything,” said Carolyn Reno, Veterinary Technology chair. 

“This is going to be harder and possibly more overwhelming than you might expect if you are not used to taking online classes,” said Beth Haullaer, Geology Adjunct professor. “Hang in there. Give yourself time and set a regular routine for working on the classes you are taking.”

“Be prepared to work,” said Anne Henry, Geology professor and department coordinator. “Online [and] Remote courses require a lot of reading. Not glossing over. Not skimming. Reading.  It may also require viewing content on the internet.”

“Don’t wait until the day that an assignment is due to begin working on it,” said Hallauer. 

“Have patience. Be respectful of your classmates and their opinions. Be humble,” said Henry. “If you’re having issues, trouble [or] confusion, talk with your instructor asap.”

“You gotta connect,” said David Bodary, chair of the communication department. “Whether we’re in class or online, connecting matters.” 

“If there are video or audio resources linked within the lessons or assignments or posted by the instructor, watch them [and] listen to them,” said Hallauer. “If you are a visual or auditory learner, as many traditional face-to-face students are, they might really help you do better.”

“Students [should] be respectful of their instructors’ private lives,” said Henry. “Just because you, the student, are online at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, doesn’t mean your instructor is too.  Most instructors will notify their students as to when they’ll be reviewing [or] responding to email, discussions and dropboxes.  Don’t be all upset if you’ve emailed your instructor at 11 p.m. on Friday and you don’t get a reply until 9 a.m. Monday.” 

“Obtain the class materials (books, etc.) before classes start,” said Eric Kraus, math professor at Sinclair. 

“The syllabus matters. It’s the most important document in the course shell,” said Bodary. “It would be very helpful to read it and ask questions if you do not understand.” 

“Log onto your Sinclair email [on the] first day of class,” said Kraus. “Ask questions early.”

Although times may be difficult, as social distancing and remote learning present different obstacles for students to overcome, following the provided steps will ideally make a student’s semester easier.

Bodary ultimately summarizes the key desire of many professors, saying, “Faculty want students to be successful.” 

Jackie Kasner

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