Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
Students have a bi-weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. The following question was asked after the last lecture, but prior to the final exam.
Give a piece of advice to yourself at the start of next semester on what you should do (the same, or differently) in order to succeed in Physics 205A/B (or similar science courses). (Graded for completion.)
"Reading blog posts and actually doing the homework assigned and the review problems for midterms."
"Read the book before the lectures."
"When I read the past comments at the beginning of this course I didn't realize how helpful one comment was, so pay attention: Before class READ THE BLOG! Before a quiz READ THE BLOG! Before a midterm or the final READ THE BLOG! And from my own experience: GO TO THE TUTOR and come prepared with questions (use the practice problems from homework to see where you need the most help) so you get the most out of the time spent there."
"Going to the tutor was the only reason I am passing this class!"
"It does not help to procrastinate, it is important to keep up with the homework and labs they really help."
"Don't read the book, it's useless. P-dog's blog is all the information you need. if you want to read the book just read the summary in the back and listen to the lecture. then go to the embedded tutor or the drop in tutor below the library. P-dog has formulas of the different concepts of each chapter, print those out and put them in a word document or something and go over them with the embedded tutor and label what each of the letter and symbol represent. Knowing what those symbols represent and drawing out the full-body diagram is about 75% of the credit right there."
"Several of my concepts of physics I realize were wrong before I took this course and understanding those new concepts was crucial to doing well."
"Getting into a group and studying."
"Something that does help is going to the embedded tutor. Also doing the practice problems on the blog helps. You really just gotta do it!"
"Doing the homework and the things before class is useful. I would also recommend going hard earlier rather than later so you can ease up towards the end."
"Understanding the material and trusting yourself."
"Knowing what the teacher is asking, and being able to replicate problems."
"By reading the review questions on the blog and actually trying to understand the reasoning of each of them helps while studying."
"Redoing the hardest problems, and working through them in detail really helped cement the concepts into my brain."
"What helped me study was doing the example problems given to us before an exam, that way I can find out what I need to work on and study that harder."
"It really doesn't help to procrastinate. I think that looking over the practice examples P-dog does on the board are the most helpful to study."
"I think study groups really helped so maybe if there was a way to facilitate people meeting during the week to encourage learning. "
"What really helps is taking your time on the reading assignments on the blog, not just doing them for the sake of doing them/"
"P-dog's blog and worked-out problems online are probably the most helpful besides just reading the chapters."
"Studying all the problems posted on the blog that were related to the upcoming quiz or exam was extremely helpful because it forces you to think about the concepts in a critical/problem-solving way as you would on the exam or quiz."
"The practice quizzes are very helpful because a lot of it is material that will be on the actual quiz. Plus having the blog handy is also very helpful."
"What helps with this class is reading the book and doing the homework assignments before coming to class and coming prepared to do in class problems. That will make the class much easier. What won't help is not doing what I said in the first part. It can be a difficult class if you don't do any of that."