1. Ask questions and come to see me whether or not you're having problems. Just come to talk about the course and to reassure yourself that you're on the right track. Remember, I am not a mind reader. If you don't ask questions, then I'll assume you understand the material. Even saying"I don't understand enough even to ask a question," is a valid question.
2. Actively read the assigned chapters in the book BEFORE the class period during which they will be discussed. This means take pen in hand and take notes about what you've read or underline or make notes in the margins of the chapters. Put a ? next to material you don't understand and make sure to ask about it either in class or come and see me. "I don't understand the book" is not a reason not to read the book. You have to work to understand any new material. You shouldn't expect to automatically understand new material.
3. Use the glossary at the end of the chapters or at the end of the book and a dictionary if you don't know what words mean.
4. Take notes during class and then compare your notes to what the book says. This will help you to identify material that I've added that is not in the book. I will not be regurgitating just what's in the book, I will be adding new and current information.
5. Application of the material and critical thinking is important. Relying on only memorization of the material usually won't help you to earn good grades. So to make sure you understand the application of the material, answer all review questions and use the study guides. If you can't determine the correct answer, ask me.
6. Learning is like the Rubik's Cube. Every time you turn it, you get a different pattern on each side, but it's still a cube. So there are many ways to ask you about the same concept. I'll use examples that are different from the book and use different examples on the exams but the examples will all be addressing the same concept. To be successful, you need to be able to look at an idea or concept from many different angles not just know the definitions.
7. Reading is not studying, it's reading.
8. A large number of hours spent "studying," i.e., "I spent 8 hours studying for this exam" does not necessarily mean you'll earn a good grade. The quality of studying time not the number of hours spent studying is what usually leads to higher grades.
9. Good study habits depend upon your preferred learning style (do you know yours?) and the course material you'll be tested on. Some exams may be more application based, some may be more conceptual. So make sure your study habits match your learning style and the course material.
10. Finally, make sure you ask questions!!!