You get through high school by being intelligent. You get through university by being organized.
―――UW Student Success Office
Lecture tips & tricks
What to expect
Classes can range from group work, peer presentations, group discussions, to more traditional lectures.
Read the Arts 101 Sample Psychology and Note Taking Lecture (PDF) to get a glimpse of what University level lectures looks like, and how you can take notes to effectively learn their content.
Lecture etiquette is important for everyone in the class!
- Minimize talking during a lecture.
- Listen to the instructor and participate in class.
- On the rare occasion you need to leave class early or arrive late, take a seat at the back of the class so you don't disturb anyone.
- Put your phone away or on silent so you focus on learning.
- Don't use social media, stream videos or music. This is distracting.
- The seats are for students not your backpack. Make room!
- Never use someone else’s clicker in class. This is a serious act of academic misconduct.
Making the transition
University Experience Shows
Understanding the difference between high school and university is critical
Knowing what to expect increases likelihood of student success
The first six weeks are critical for students developing habits and routines
Study strategies need to be re- evaluated
The key period is the first 6 weeks of class. This is a time of transition.
The first six weeks are characterized by:
- Enforced separation
- Flexibility and anonymity
- Inaccurate expectations
- Problematic work habits
At the University of Waterloo...
Instructors provide you with a course outline
They expect you to come prepared each day
The volume of work is higher than you expect
Your first classes will tend to be much larger than in high school
Instructors will assume you understand the material until you tell them otherwise
What is a Clicker?
A clicker is a small remote control device that is used by students to submit responses to multiple choice questions posed in class. The answers are collected in real time allowing the instructor to learn how well the topic is understood by students. Sometimes the results are used to evaluate student attendance or participation and may contribute to their final grade. Your instructor will tell you if clicker responses count towards your final grade.
This short video will give you a quick look at the use of clickers in a Physics class (the use of clickers will be similar in an Arts class):
- Clickers FAQ
- Clickers can be bought at the Book Store in South Campus Hall (SCH); sometimes they are bundled with textbooks.
- Before you purchase a Clicker ensure you require it for your classes.
- Normally you'll need to register your clicker on LEARN. Wait for instruction from your professor.
Never use someone else’s clicker in class. This is a serious act of academic misconduct. The current penalty for this academic misconduct is 0 on the course element and normally will include suspension.
Library and study space
Tips for using the Library
- Use your WatCard
- It’s your library card. Use it to sign out books, journals, reserve materials, and more!
- It’s your printing and photocopying card.
- You’ll need it to “connect from home” to access electronic resources from off campus.
- Explore the Library’s spaces
- The Library has hundreds of study spots. Choose from study carrels, tables, individual and group study rooms!
- Use the computers available in the libraries.
- Use printers, photocopiers, and scanners.
- You can even borrow a phone charger!
- Check out the Library’s subject guides
- Subject guides direct you to the most important books and article databases in your subject area.
- Ask a librarian
Choosing the right study space
The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries have designated silent study areas and study rooms that can be booked for up to 3 hrs at a time.
A little noise?
Try a study carrel or study table in one of the libraries for quiet study. The Dana Porter Library is 10 stories tall. There's lots of great study space!
Group work or socializing?
Check the Group study spaces in the Library and on campus.