Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines
The purpose of this information is to assist students in understanding proper classroom behavior. The classroom should be a learning-centered environment in which faculty and students are unhindered by disruptive behavior. You are a college student and are expected to act in a mature manner and to be respectful of the learning process, your instructor and your fellow students. Faculty members have the authority to manage their classrooms to ensure an environment conducive to learning.
Any person who shall accept the privilege extended by Florida laws of attendance or employment at any state college, state junior college or state university shall by so attending or working at such institution be deemed to have given consent to the policies of the institution, the Board of Trustees and the laws of this state. Such policies shall include prohibition against disruptive activities at state institutions of higher learning.
- Take responsibility for your education. There is a common myth among students that because they pay tuition they deserve to receive credit for the class. This is not true. In fact, students pay only a portion of the cost of their education; taxpayers pay the balance. Instructors are here to create a learning environment. Whether you learn depends on your willingness to listen, ask appropriate questions and do the work necessary to pass the course. College courses are rigorous and demanding; you may have to work harder and seek more help in order to succeed.
- Attend every class. You will find that students who attend every class, listen to the instructor and take good notes will be more likely to pass (with a higher grade). If you have an emergency or illness, contact your instructor ahead of time to let her or him know that you will be absent. A local study showed that students who missed the first class meeting were more likely later to withdraw or fail. Important note: If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to meet with the instructor, outside of regular class time, to determine a plan to make up the missed work.
- Get to class on time. Students who walk into the classroom late distract other students in the learning environment. Check the course syllabus for the professor's attendance policy.
- Do not have private conversations. The noise is distracting to other students.
- Turn mobile phones off. It is very distracting to hear someone's mobile phone go off in class.
- Do not dominate other students' opportunity to learn by asking too many questions. It is good to ask questions and make comments, but if you dominate the class time with too many questions and/or comments, the instructor and other students cannot participate in class discussions. When asking questions and making comments, keep them related to the discussion at hand.
- Respect your instructor. Openly challenging the instructor's knowledge or authority in the classroom is not appropriate. If you take issue with the instructor's information or instructional methods, make sure that your comments are made without confrontation or antagonism. You may want to discuss your issues with her or him privately. Instructors' classroom policies, procedures and teaching styles vary: Some instructors, for example, enforce attendance policies vigorously, while others are more lenient about attendance. Assignments and classroom activities are at the prerogative of the instructor. Each instructor has the freedom and authority to set the guidelines and policies for his or her classroom (within the overall policies of the College). Consult the instructor's syllabus for specific information pertinent to each class.
- Your classmates deserve your respect and support. Others may have ideas and opinions that differ from yours, or they may struggle to understand information as quickly as their peers. But they deserve the same level of respect from you as you wish to receive from them.
- Come to class prepared. Students who forget common classroom supplies (such as a pencil, paper, books, test materials, etc.) usually waste class time. Students who have not completed their assigned homework many times ask questions that could have been answered through their assignments.
- Turn in your work on time. It is important to plan ahead. Students who wait until the last minute to do their work usually make lower grades and are more likely to miss deadlines. Study and do your assignments every day. Doing so ensures that if a problem occurs at the last minute, such as a computer malfunction, you will still be prepared.
- Do not bring children to class. Children in classrooms are distracting to the instructor, other students and you. You need to plan ahead for childcare.
Adapted from the Office of the Dean of Student Services at Palm Beach State College's Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines.