Students want to know: “What do I need to do to succeed in this course?”
As in many things, the answer is simple (but not always easy). At the start of each semester I share the following three elements that, in my experience in university teaching, almost always translate into academic success.
- Show up: If you don’t actually come to class you miss important stuff.
- Be 100% present: If you show up and spend the class on your smartphone, you’re not really present.
- Do your homework: The real learning happens outside the classroom.
BUT here’s the caveat: It’s a three-legged stool. You need all three elements or you “fall off” (and if you start shaving away any of the legs, it gets a bit wobbly).
And I’ve found that these are pretty good rules to live by in life generally, whether in work, relationships, travel, and so on. When things get complicated it’s nice to take it back to the basics!