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Get the Most Out of Your Course


The semester has ended, but are you really ready to put it behind you? Don't move on too quickly. Follow these three steps to get end-of-the-semester closure.

Evaluate the Course Content
Will you use the course material in the future? A crucial course may become part of your basic skill set and something you refer back to often in your career. Some courses are part of a sequence, for example, a course in research methods may form a basis for a later course on preparing research proposals. Other courses are useful in preparing for graduate admissions exams such as the Graduate Record Exam or licensure exams. If you there is any possibility that you may need the materials, save it. You can purge your shelves and files later.

Organize Your Coursework
If you plan to save course materials, organize them. You may think that you'll be able to sort through handouts and papers easily in the future, but it is unlikely because we quickly forget material we don't use. Organize your notes, label everything. Save your textbook. Place all of your notes and course materials into a binder, set of file folders secured with a rubber band, file box, or other secure place.

Obtain Final Exams and Papers
Finally, regardless of whether you choose to save your course materials, it's a good idea to check back with your professors for final grades and assignments. Most students never receive their their grades for final assignments as they're handed in during the last class or final exam period. Contact the professor and request your graded papers and to review your graded exam.s Why? It's important to understand what material you didn't understand. Reviewing graded materials is an opportunity to learn and improve. Another reason to review your work is to check for errors in grading. At the end of the semester professors are swamped with work. Just like students, they can be overwhelmed with the workload. Errors happen. Follow up to review your work and there's always the change, small usually, that your final course grade is not correct.

These three steps can help you to get the most from your classes not just during the semester, but afterward too.

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