As educators and advocates of higher education, we spend a lot of time discussing how to reach students in large classes (well, any class really) so it’s nice to be reminded what it’s like to be in the seats. A recent post in blogUT captures the life of a student in Convocation Hall (“Convocation Hall: Not Just a Place to Graduate”), providing helpful tips on making it through the year. This post, like many found on blogUT and other student blogs at the university, presents a mentor-like perspective for other students. There is nothing quite like the advice of a peer, especially someone who has already mastered the way.
The blogUT post provides important reminders (e.g. take advantage of your professor’s office hours) but also shines a light on some very practical points. Anyone heading into class at Con Hall should know that it isn’t equipped with desks so the blogger suggests using a binder or book to make note taking easier. She also offers suggestions on getting the better seats in the house and where you’ll find the best sound. For incoming students, this friendly advice must be enormously helpful and it’s equally enlightening to read student comments. There are some really interesting stories shared online and this is something that I would have found helpful in my first year at UofT.
p.s. My advice for first-year students enrolled in a Con Hall class is a warning about the added difficulties of winter classes. Fixed theatre style seating, filled seats, extra large winter coats and large book bags don’t mix very well.