Classroom Etiquette

Teaching styles and classroom etiquette at Wooster may be very different from what you are used to. While in some countries it is expected to listen to the lecture without speaking in class, students in the US are expected to engage in discussion during class.

Guidelines for success in the classroom

Arrive on time (using the US definition of “on time”). This means you should be in your seat ready to learn with all the materials necessary at the time class is scheduled to start.

At Wooster, there is no need to stand when your professor enters the room or when you answer a question.

Many students (not just international students) are unsure of how to address their instructors. Most of your Wooster faculty will probably wish to be addressed as Doctor or Professor Last-Name, but ask them if you are not sure. Remember, it is always better to be invited to be less formal than to be corrected for being overly casual.

Keep up with your assigned readings and come to class prepared to discuss them. Visit the Learning Center for tips on how to manage all of those assigned readings.

If you do not understand part of the lecture, ask the professor to clarify. If you are not comfortable asking questions during class, you can ask the professor your questions immediately after class or during the professor’s office hours. Office hours are generally posted outside of faculty offices.

You are expected to share your knowledge and your perspective, even when that perspective differs from that of your professor. If you disagree with someone’s idea, be sure to critique the idea, not the person presenting the idea.

Demonstrate active listening by being attentive while others are talking. In the US, this can mean making eye contact with the speaker, taking notes, or clearly paying attention while others are speaking.

Ask for help if you feel you need it. Don’t wait for a small problem to fix itself – they tend to grow into large problems if they are left ignored.

Check the syllabus for each class for your professors’ preferences regarding the following:

  • Use of computers and phones in the classroom
  • Eating/drinking in the classroom
  • Arriving late/leaving early
  • Recording lectures and discussions
  • Other issues and concerns