A tip about reading textbooks and course materials: they are not novels. In a novel you typically read a passage once with full comprehension. The action carries you forward through the text. The materials in this course build sequentially and you will at times need to read a section several times before you can move on to the next section. Be self-aware and check in with yourself: Did I understand that passage? Could I solve problems based on it?
When you take notes during class you should make sure to write down at least what I write on the board. Also write down things I say that help you to understand. Keep your notes on loose-leaf paper that you can store with your other materials in your binder.
If I go too fast or you don’t understand something raise your hand and ask! Chances are very good that you are not the only one who is confused. If no one asks then I can’t know that you missed something. And trust me, I try to stick only to the things you have to know to pass the quiz!
In this course our motto is FIO (an acronym that I leave to the reader: you will figure it out if you think about it for a bit).
It is important that you evaluate yourself frequently as you work to find out what you have learned. Try repeating to yourself the contents of class discussions. Even better, go over the concepts and problem-solving techniques with your study group: communicating something you have learned forces you to organize your thoughts about it. When you do so, you learn it better yourself. This is true also about writing in the course. Your lab reports and the answers to lab questions are learning opportunities. When you explain what you have learned in writing you often find that you have not learned it as well as you thought you did. Go back and learn it properly and your writing will improve.