It is important for students to attend classes, as instructors may take attendance and this often counts as a part of the grade. Classes for undergraduate students meet two or three times per week for 50 or 75 minutes. Graduate student classes and seminars usually meet once a week. Lectures frequently cover materials which appear on tests and exams.
For smaller classes and seminars, students may be expected to participate in discussions, and this may also count as part of the grade. It is recommended that students look at the syllabus for more information about what is expected, as well as pay attention in the first few weeks of class for a clearer indication of expectations. For students who feel uncomfortable participating, it is recommended that they speak to their instructors and ask for tips, or even alternative ways to participate.
The syllabus is a contract between the student and the instructor. Students are expected to be familiar with the course syllabus and ask questions when necessary. The syllabus includes deadlines for assignments, as well as dates for tests and exams, and the list of readings. It is important for students to complete work on time. Students are encouraged to ask questions well ahead of the deadline for projects.
Instructors hold office hours each week and students are encouraged to take advantage and visit with instructors during this time to ask questions or receive clarification on an assignment. If posted office hours conflict with a student’s class schedule, they should ask if an alternate time would work.
Bruce Michelson, Ph.D., Director, Campus Honors Program. ISSS Academics Guide, “ Chapter 2: What to expect in the classroom”. http://isss.illinois.edu/publications/guides/academic_guide.html