Active participation during a class lecture helps students learn and retain more information and improves performance in class, on assignments, and on exams. Here are a few tips for improving active participation skills.
- Attend class regularly. Try to arrive early and stay a little late to avoid missing the beginning or the end of the lecture when the professor might introduce or summarize important information or make important announcements.
- Sit in the front of the class to minimize distractions. Many professors find students who sit in the front rows or up the middle of the classroom (the T-section--see below) are most successful.
- Pretend you and the professor are having a conversation: sit up straight, make eye contact, and behave as though the success of the conversation depends on you being a good listener: nod when you agree and ask a question when you are confused. Paying attention will improve your comprehension and let the professor know you are interested in the class.
- Concentrate. If you are concerned about something, write it down on a separate piece of paper, then put it out of your mind and deal with it later. If you catch yourself daydreaming, calmly remind yourself to pay attention.