Academic behaviors – such as class attendance, timeliness of assignment completion, and class participation – that foster learning and success
College-level courses can demand a great deal more than what you may recall from high school. While you may not be required to attend every course, doing so is absolutely crucial to passing. Likewise, homework, readings, or other assignments may or may not be required, but are where you have a chance to master what you learned in the course. Lastly, many courses not only grade participation (e.g., classroom discussions, online discussion boards), but use this as a major tool for learning.
Perhaps the most important part of Engagement is that it can vary from course to course. Therefore, it’s on you to learn what’s expected of each course and make sure you fulfill those requirements. Remember that, even though a reading or assignment may not be graded at the time it’s given to you, it’s a critical part of your learning and will definitely be needed later on.
Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.
How can I improve my Engagement?
Strategies to Use
First thing’s first: go to class! Whether it’s required or not, it’s the best thing you can do to give yourself a chance at success.
When you do show up to class, make sure you get involved. Asking questions, engaging in conversations, and other forms of engagement are perhaps more important than what’s “in the book.”
Make sure to complete all readings, homework, and assignments - even if they’re not “required.” Many professors expect you to be completing this work, and you won’t realize its importance until it’s too late (i.e., test time).
In online classes, apply these same principles to reviewing materials, engaging in discussion boards, and completing your work. “In class” can mean both virtual and in-person.
Resources at JMU
Learning Strategies Instruction provides individualized, student-centered, academic coaching designed to increase student success.
The Centers for Global Engagement provide many opportunities for students to engage in learning opportunities.
The Office of Disability Services can provide test-taking and note-taking accommodations, as well as other learning strategies.
All of the apps below are free for both iOS and Android and can help you organize your schedule and assignments