Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

2990A-001

Psychology 2990A-001

Applications of Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.

1.0    CALENDAR DESCRIPTION

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with some of the ways in which psychological evidence and techniques can be applied to the practice of law, business, education, the health sciences, and other areas.

 

Prerequisite(s): At least 60% in a 1000-level Psychology course.  3 lecture hours, 0.5 course.

 

Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed.  You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


2.0    COURSE INFORMATION

Instructor:                  Dr. Doug Hazlewood

Office:                     Rm. 6330 SSC

Phone:                     (519) 661-2111, ext. 84663

Email:                      hazlewoo@uwo.ca

Office Hours:          Tuesdays, 5:30 - 6:30 pm (or by appointment).

 

Teaching Assistant:  Anna Blumenthal

Email:                      ablumen@uwo.ca

Office:                     TBA (see exam review sign-up sheets for location)

Office Hours:          By appointment to review your exams (sign-up times will be available in class)


 

Course Website:        https://owl.uwo.ca

 

Classes:                       Tuesdays, 7 - 10 pm, SSC 2050

COURSE FORMAT

 

The primary course format will be lectures. Nevertheless, questions and discussions are desired and encouraged.  Indeed, the last portion of each lecture will be set aside as a forum for discussing your thoughts about the material.  All students are encouraged to participate in these discussions. Alternatively, students can organize their own informal discussion groups.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

 

 

Material covered in lectures will not always be the same as material covered in the textbook; these two sources of information should be viewed as complimentary, not redundant.  As such, students who want to do well in this course are strongly encouraged to attend lectures on a regular basis. Also, please note that I will not be providing copies of lecture notes or slides.  Therefore, if you miss a lecture, you should try to obtain this material from another student.  I strongly recommend that you contact a fellow student early in the term, and arrange to exchange notes in case either of you are forced to miss a lecture.  You


 

should not provide notes to students who are “chronically” absent.

 

(2)  Minimizing Distractions:

 

To avoid unnecessary distractions, please arrive to each class on time, ensure that your cell phone is off, and avoid “private” conversations with the person sitting next to you!

 

In a class this large, some students will be unaware that their private conversations are distracting to other students.  If you feel that students are distracting your attention from the material, then you should ask them to be quiet.  If you feel uncomfortable doing this (or if the problem persists), then please see me and I will arrange to meet privately with the students. At this meeting, the students will be given an opportunity to explain their behavior. I will explain why their behavior is distracting or disruptive, and outline the penalties that will be imposed if the behavior continues.  To ensure early documentation of the problem, and fair consideration of the appropriate penalty, a report of this meeting will be sent to the Department of Psychology, the Dean of Social Science, and the Ombudsperson’s office.

 

(3)  Policy on Cheating (and other Academic Offences):

 

Scholastic offences are taken very seriously at Western. Therefore, students must be familiar with the appropriate policies, including the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence.  This can be found at the following website: Scholastic Offences at Western.

 

Cheating is a very serious academic offence and it will not be tolerated.  As of September 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology requires that all multiple-choice tests and exams be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses, using reliable software.  In addition, records will be made of student seating locations during all tests and exams. If a similar pattern of responses is detected, students will be reported to the Dean’s office for further investigation and possible disciplinary action.

 

The penalties for cheating can include refusal of a passing grade on the test/exam; refusal of a passing grade in the course; suspension from the University; and expulsion from the University.

 

To avoid any suspicion of cheating, please take the following steps:

 

Students who study together are more likely to have similar answers.

 

 

 

(4)  Make-up Exams:

 

Students will be allowed to write “make-up” exams only under special circumstances. These include medical or compassionate reasons, and must be substantiated with proper documentation as soon as possible (e.g., medical certification verifying that you are unable to write an exam; certificates stating “for medical reasons” are not sufficient). Please note that documentation must be submitted to (and


 

approved by) an academic counsellor in your Dean’s office. A student who misses an exam for any other reason, or who is unable to substantiate a claim in a timely fashion, will be assigned a grade of zero for that exam.   In fairness to all, no exceptions to this policy will be allowed.

 

Please see the POLICY ON ACCOMMODATION FOR MEDICAL ILLNESS - UNDERGRADUATE

STUDENTS at http://www.westerncalendar.uwo.ca/2017/pg117.html for additional information on medical accommodation.  Additional information on appropriate medical documentation can be found at http://counselling.ssc.uwo.ca/procedures/medical_accommodation.html.

 

(5)  Policy Regarding Illness:

 

If you feel that you have a medical or personal problem that is interfering with your work, then you should contact your Faculty Academic Counselling Office as soon as possible.  Problems may then be documented and possible arrangements to assist you can be discussed at the time of occurrence, rather than retroactively.  In general, retroactive requests for grade revisions on medical or compassionate grounds will not be considered.


If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit:  http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

3.0  TEXTBOOK

Hazlewood, D. and Janes, L. (2017).

Topics in applied psychology.  Pearson Custom Publishing. (Be sure to purchase the 5th edition)

 

Note: This is a “custom” textbook that was specifically designed for our course.  In one (relatively affordable) package, it contains chapters from several sources that provide an introduction to the course material.  For each topic, we attempted to select a chapter that provided the broadest coverage of material, coupled with an engaging writing style (and Canadian content, whenever possible).

 

4.0    COURSE OBJECTIVES

This course is designed to show how theories and findings in the field of psychology can be applied in a variety of professional domains. We will focus on applications of psychology to Law and Police Investigations; Health Behaviors; Sports; Education; Job Satisfaction; Consumer Behavior; Engineering; the Environment; and the Military.  Whether you choose to pursue a professional career in these areas, or are simply curious about these areas in your everyday life, it is hoped that you will discover how the scientific study of human behavior can be used to enhance your understanding of these areas.

   4.1    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

~ identify major concepts and theories in applied psychology (including examples);

~ interpret the results of research that has examined these concepts and theories; and

~ apply these concepts and theories to professional (and everyday) life.

 

The specific Learning Objectives associated with some of the textbook chapters, as well as a document that I’ve posted in the Resources section of OWL (Tips for Learning the Material and Performing Well on Exams) should also help students achieve the course objectives and learning outcomes.

 

5.0     EVALUATION

Note that the Psychology Department expects 2100-2990 level courses (which includes this course) to have final grade averages near 72%.

 

Course grades will be based on three multiple-choice exams.  Students are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in lectures.  The First Exam (October 3), worth 20% of the final grade, will cover material from September 12 through September 26. The Second Exam (November 7), worth 35% of the final grade, will cover material from October 17 through October 31. The Final Exam (during the Midyear Exam period in December), worth 45% of the final grade, will cover material from November 14 through December 5.

 

Grades will be sent to your uwo.ca email address as soon as possible after each exam.  Please be sure that your inbox is not full.

 

NOTE: Grades cannot be adjusted on the basis of “need”.  In addition, students will not be given the opportunity to improve their grades by completing “extra” assignments. As such, it is important that you monitor your performance on the exams and take steps to eliminate problems as soon as possible, so the problems do not interfere with your performance on subsequent exams.

 

To review your exam performance, please sign-up for a time (posted in class).  Review sessions will be organized for a two-week period after each exam. You must sign-up during these times.  If you cannot be available for a sign-up time, then please contact the TA to schedule an appointment. Appointments should be made no later than three weeks after the exam.

 

When reviewing your exams, please keep in mind that the TA did not write the exam questions and, therefore, is not responsible for explaining why a particular answer is correct. After reviewing your exam, please contact me (Doug Hazlewood) if you have any questions or concerns.  Note: Please review the “frequently asked questions” (below) if you have any questions about the grades (e.g., why your grade was not emailed, etc.).


Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:


70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
   
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/general/grades_undergrad.pdf ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail



6.0  TEST AND EXAMINATION SCHEDULE

Exam 1           October 3, 2016                                                                     20%

Material: Chapters 1 & 2 plus lecture material

 

Exam 2           November 7, 2016             35%

Material: Chapters 3, 4, & 5 plus lecture material

 

Exam 3           Date, Time, and Location to be announced (December 10-21)                        45%

Material: Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 plus lecture material

 

 

Note 1:  There will be no lecture after the exams.

 

Note 2:  You must go to your assigned room!  Room assignments will be announced in class, posted on the course website, and posted on my office door a few days before each exam. Please do not contact the department secretaries for this information!!

 

Note 3:  Electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, dictionaries, ipods/earbuds) are NOT permitted during exams. Please leave these devices at home or in your book bag.


7.0   CLASS SCHEDULE

LECTURE AND READING SCHEDULE

 

Weekly Topics and Readings

 

 

Sept 12

 

INTRODUCTION

 

-----

 

Sept 19

 

PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LAW

 

Ch 1

 

Sept 26

 

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY IN POLICE INVESTIGATIONS

 

Ch 2

 

OCT 3

 

EXAM 1 (20%)

{Material: Chapters 1 & 2 plus lecture material}

 

Ch 1, 2

 

Oct 10

 

Fall Reading Week

 

-----

 

Oct 17

 

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY

 

Ch 3

 

Oct 24

 

SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

 

Ch 4

 

Oct 31

 

PSYCHOLOGY IN EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS

 

Ch 5

 

NOV 7

 

EXAM 2 (35%)

{Material: Chapters 3, 4, & 5 plus lecture material}

 

Ch 3, 4, 5

 

Nov 14

 

PSYCHOLOGY ON THE JOB

 

Ch 6

 

Nov 21

 

CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY

 

Ch 7

 

Nov 28

 

ENGINEERING PSYCHOLOGY

 

Ch 8

 

Dec 5

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY (bring handout from website)

 

MILITARY PSYCHOLOGY (Scenarios 1 & 2, pages 277 - 289, will not be covered on the exam)

 

Ch 9

 

Ch 10

 

TBA DEC 10-21

 

FINAL EXAM (45%)

{Material: Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 plus lecture material}

 

Ch 6 - 10

 

Note 1: Exams will cover textbook and lecture material. Note 2: There will be no lecture after the exams.


8.0     STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC OFFENCES

Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:  http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and Turnitin.com http://www.turnitin.com

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.



9.0    POLICY ON ACCOMMODATION FOR MEDICAL ILLNESS

Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:
http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/2017/pg954.html 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:
http://counselling.ssc.uwo.ca/procedures/medical_accommodation.html


10.0        OTHER INFORMATION

See below for answers to some “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs).

 

Please read carefully the Department of Psychology document entitled Student Responsibilities at http://psychology.uwo.ca/undergraduate/student_responsibilities/index.html for information regarding: Policy on cheating and academic misconduct; Policy on makeup exams/extensions of deadlines (including appropriate documentation); Procedures for appealing academic evaluations; and other issues.

 

Additional information is provided on our course website (see Resources section of OWL), including

 

(1)  Tips for using email;

 

 

 

Please read this material carefully and contact me if you have any questions.


Office of the Registrar web site:  http://registrar.uwo.ca

Student Development Services web site: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca

Having academic problems?  See http://counselling.ssc.uwo.ca/procedures/havingproblems.asp

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

    http://psychology.uwo.ca/undergraduate/student_responsibilities/index.html

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.

Answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ’s)

 

As we proceed through the course, students often have questions that could affect their progress. To facilitate your progress, I’ve provided answers to some of these Frequently Asked Questions (before, during, and after exams). Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

 

FAQ’s PRIOR TO EXAMS

 

Q: Can I use an older version of the textbook?

A: I recommend that students use the newest version of the textbook so they don’t miss any material that might be on exams.

 

Q: I don’t have access to this course from OWL.  What should I do?

A: If you don’t have access, then you are not officially registered in the course.  It’s possible that you registered late (in which case I can add your name to OWL if you send me your UWO email “username” [the part before @uwo.ca]). This will give you access to the course website, but it does NOT ensure that you are officially registered in the course! Therefore, please check the Registrar’s website to ensure that you are officially registered. We cannot submit final grades if students are not officially registered in the course.

 

Q: I’m experiencing problems with OWL. Can you help?

A: It’s best to ask the experts at the ITS Support Centre (519-661-3800; SSB 4100; http://itshelp.uwo.ca)

 

Q: Do we have to know any lecture material that is not on the slides (e.g., examples you give)?

A: Yes!  Material on the slides is designed to help you organize your notes by outlining the basic topics (and subtopics).  In addition, I will often use examples to expand upon this material.  Sometimes these examples are perceived as “ramblings” that are not important.  Note, however, that some of the exam questions will be derived from these examples!  As such, even if it seems like I’m rambling, or restating a point that was already made, you should not ignore the examples I provide in class. A good rule of thumb: If I’m talking about something in class, then it’s likely I’ll ask a question about it, even if the material is not on the slides.

 

Q: I missed a lecture.  Can you provide me with the “lecture notes” and/or “slides”?

A: No.  Try to get this information from another student. If anything is unclear, please see me during my office hours (or schedule an appointment to meet with me).

 

Q: I know you do not provide lecture notes or slides, but could you make an exception for me?

  1. No. See answer to previous question.

 

Q. I missed a video that was shown in class. Can you arrange a “second showing”?

  1. A. No. See answers to previous question

 

Q: Are the exams cumulative?

A: No. See Summary of Examination Schedule above.

 

Q: What textbook chapters will be covered on the upcoming exam?

A: See Summary of Examination Schedule.  Remember, lecture material will also be covered.

 

 

Q: How much detail do we have to remember from the textbook?

A: I try to avoid asking questions that focus on the smallest details.  Nevertheless, some of the exam questions will focus on specific details, so be sure to read the textbook carefully.

 

Q: Do we have to know all the names and dates in the textbook?

A: No.  Only names/dates that I emphasize in lectures.

 

Q: Do we have to know the material in the textbook “Tables”, “Figures”, or “Boxes”?

A: Yes. This information is designed to supplement the textbook material (e.g., by providing a graphic depiction of research findings, or a visual representation of basic concepts/ideas).  As such, it will help you understand the material.

 

Q: Sometimes the textbook mentions chapters that we were not assigned. Do we have to know this material?

A: No.  Sometimes, I’ll cover this material in my lectures (so it becomes “lecture material” that you are required to know). Otherwise, you are not responsible for this material on exams.

 

Q: Where do I go to write the exam?

A: You must write the exam in your assigned room.  Room assignments will be announced in class one week before the exam.  They will also be posted on the course website and my office door. Therefore, please do not phone or email us (or the department secretaries!) for this information.

 

Q: I can’t write the exam at the scheduled time and want to write the makeup exam.  When is it scheduled? Will it be the same format?

A: As indicated on the course outline, makeup exams are granted under a limited set of circumstances, and must be supported by proper documentation (see the Psychology Department’s website for additional information regarding documentation). Documentation must be approved by your Dean’s office.  After the documentation is received and approved, a makeup exam will be scheduled.  At that time, we will also discuss the exam format.  In the meantime, it is your responsibility to ensure that the documentation is submitted as soon as possible.

 

Q: I’m swamped by three exams in a 24 hour period! Can I write the makeup for our 1st (or 2nd) exam?

A: No.  According to Senate regulations, the dates for these exams must be clearly indicated on the course syllabus during the first class. This advanced warning should give all students enough time to adjust their schedules so they are prepared for the exams.  If this information was not provided, then you should contact the professor (he/she might be in violation of a Senate Regulation).  The only exception involves Final Exams.  If you have three Final Exams in a 24 hour period, then you should contact the academic counselors in your Dean’s office.  They will explain the procedures you should follow, and provide you with the appropriate forms.

 

Q: I have two exams at the same time. What should I do?

A: In the case of midterm exams, you should contact the professor in your other course to arrange a makeup exam. Professors cannot force you to miss our class; if they have scheduled an exam that conflicts with our class, then they must provide an alternative time for makeup exams.  Upon request, I will provide the professor with appropriate documentation indicating that you have another obligation in our course (if you are officially registered in our course). In the case of Final Exams, you should contact the academic counselors in your Dean’s office to discuss the

 

 

various options.

 

FAQ’s DURING EXAMS

 

Q: Can I ask questions during the exams?

A: To be fair to all students, NO questions will be allowed during the exams.  I cannot help you define any “concepts” or “words” on the exams. I cannot discuss what you remember from the textbook or the lectures (because some questions are designed to test your memory of this material).  I cannot tell you whether the “reasoning” behind your chosen answer is correct, because that’s the same as telling you whether or not your answer is correct.  Obviously that’s not something we should discuss during the exam! I cannot help you decide what to do if you think two options are correct (except to tell you to choose the best option).  Note that we CAN discuss these issues AFTER the exams, but we cannot discuss them during the exams.

 

Q: Can I use the washroom during the exams?

A: Only if it is a medical emergency.  Otherwise, students should not leave the room during exams. The exams are designed to take less than two hours to complete. Students should use the washroom before the exams.

 

Q: A student sitting near me is “sniffling”. It’s very distracting.  Can you ask the student to blow his/her nose?

A: Yes.  For now, I encourage all students to bring tissues so they can blow their noses if they have the sniffles during exams.

 

Q: Can I stay in the exam room for the full amount of time?

A: Yes. But the time provided for exams is designed to ensure that all students can complete the exams in less than the allotted time (so they don’t feel any “time pressure”). Please do not feel that you have to stay in the exam room until the last minute!

 

Q: Does the time allowed for the exams include filling in the scantron, or do we get extra time for this?

A: You DO NOT get extra time!  When the exam ends, your scantron will be removed and blank answers will be recorded as incorrect answers.  See previous question.

 

FAQ’s AFTER EXAMS

 

Q: When will the exam grades be posted?

A: As soon as possible.  Check your uwo.ca email inbox and please be patient.

 

Q: I missed the exam.  Can we simply re-weight my final grade?

A: No. Students must demonstrate their mastery of all material in the course. If you receive permission from your Dean’s office, then you will be given an opportunity to write a makeup exam. Otherwise, you will receive a zero on the exam. See the next question.

 

Q: I missed the exam.  When can I write the makeup?

A: As indicated on the course syllabus, you cannot write a makeup exam until you receive permission from your Dean’s office.  Documentation is required.  Please see the course outline for further details, and submit the documentation as soon as possible.  If you miss the makeup, it is possible that you will not be given another opportunity to write it (and a grade of zero will be recorded).

 

 

 

Q: I missed the makeup exam. What should I do?

A: This is a very serious situation. You should contact your Dean’s office as soon as possible if there is anything that is preventing you from writing exams and makeup exams at the scheduled times. Please ask the Dean’s office to contact me.

 

Q: How can I find out my exam grade(s)?

A: Grades will be emailed to your uwo.ca inbox as soon as they are available.

 

Q: You posted an announcement on OWL that the grades were emailed, but I didn’t receive the email. What should I do?

A: Check that your email inbox is not full (delete any old messages and empty the Trash folder). Then, email me (hazlewoo@uwo.ca) as soon as possible. There might have been a problem recording your grade (e.g., if you didn’t enter your student number correctly on the scantron), so be sure to include your correct student number in the email.

 

Q: How can I review my performance on the exams?

A: First, make an appointment with the TA during the sign-up times provided in class.  You should look closely at the questions you got wrong and ask yourself (1) “Why did I get these wrong” and (2) “How can I prevent the same mistake in the future?”.  Note:  You should NOT ask the TA why you got questions wrong.  This is something you have to diagnose on your own (but feel free to contact me!  See next question).

 

Q: I’d like to discuss some of the exam questions.  Who should I see?

A: After reviewing your exam with the TA, mark these questions on the answer sheet (provided by the TA).  The TA will forward the answer sheet to me. We can then discuss these questions during my office hours (or you can see me after class to make an appointment).  Please note that I cannot make adjustments to your grade.  See next question.

 

Q: I thought Question [xx] was ambiguous/unfair.  Would you consider dropping this question?

A: Yes!  Ambiguous/unfair questions are easy to spot, because most students get these questions wrong.

When this occurs, I automatically eliminate the question (see the website document: How I create fair exams for more information).  The only exception occurs when the question is based on lecture material.  I realize that not all students will attend lectures and not all attending students will think carefully about the material.  If you are one of these students, then you should anticipate that some lecture questions will seem ambiguous or unfair. On the other hand, if you attend every lecture, and think carefully about the material (including the examples that I provide), then you should not have any problem with these questions.

 

Q: I’m not doing as well as I would like on the exams and was wondering if you can provide any tips for improving my performance.

A: First, see the website document entitled Tips for Learning the Material and Performing Well on Exams.  Second, review your exams to identify exactly what you’re doing wrong (this should be done as soon as possible after the first exam). Finally, see me to discuss possible solutions to the problems you’re experiencing.

 

 

HERE ARE SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT “ASKING QUESTIONS”:

 

Q: Can I ask you questions outside class?

A: Yes. I have office hours Tuesdays from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, so feel free to meet with me then (please don’t stop by at 6:25 unless you have a very short question). I can also be available at other times by appointment (email me so we can arrange a convenient time). Typically, I’ll be in class 20 minutes before the lecture begins (if the room is available). However, during this time, I’ll be organizing the room and setting up the equipment (e.g., computer, overhead projectors, etc). If I look like I’m busy with this, then it is not a good time to ask questions. Once everything is set- up, I can answer questions.  Keep in mind that I want to begin class on time, so use your own judgment when asking questions a few minutes before the class begins.

 

Q: Can I ask you questions during the break or after the lecture?

A: Yes! These are especially good times to ask questions about the lecture material, because it will be fresh in our minds.  Although I won’t be able to answer many questions during the 10 minute break (use your best judgment if it looks like we’re near the end of the break), we will have time for questions after the lecture.  Indeed, when the lecture ends, we’ll set aside the remaining class time for questions and discussions.

 

Q: Can I ask you questions during the lecture?

A: Yes!  This is particularly important if the lecture material is unclear.  Although I will make every effort to be as clear as possible, I realize that I might not always succeed. For this reason, I will occasionally pause and ask whether you have any questions. If my presentation is not clear; if there is a concept that has not been defined; if you don’t have the basic information that is required to understand the lecture material, then please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

 

Often, the lecture material will be clear, but students have other questions that go beyond the lecture material.  In this case, you should use your best judgment and consider the following: (1) Will this question cause us to go on a tangent that takes us away from the focus of the lecture?

(2) Is this a question we could discuss at the end of the lecture?  In a class of 400 students, I’m reluctant to go on tangents introduced by a single student.  Indeed, in the past, it seems that for every student who benefitted from the discussion, I hear from 10 students who thought it was a waste of time and interfered with the flow of lecture material.  Therefore, if in doubt, put a question mark in your notes and ask the question at the end of the lecture.  For now, I look forward to your questions and our discussions!