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Department of Civil Engineering
CIVL 3121 - Modest Proposal
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The right classroom environment is essential to learning, and creating that environment is the responsibility of both instructors and students.

In the Classroom
  • Enthusiasm is contagious - Professors respond and teach better to an alert, attentive, and interested class in the just the way a band puts on a better show for an enthusiastic crowd.
  • Be involved in class - Participate in class discussions and ask questions. If you have nothing to say, then show that you are interested and engaged by making eye contact with your professors. You would find it pretty boring if the Prof never made eye contact with the class. In the same way, the Prof will find you pretty boring, and assume you are not interested, if you never look up.
  • The "too cool for school" posture is unacceptable and offensive - Never slouch, chat, glare at the clock, or yawn. You would not appreciate such posture if you were speaking at the front of the class, would you?
  • When a fellow student speaks, it is not an opportunity to "tune out," take a break, or start a conversation - Respecting your classmates includes listening to their questions and comments.
  • Never close your books or rustle your papers to signal the end of class - This is like looking at your watch when someone is talking to you - pretty rude. In fact, you might consider not even wearing a watch to class. Time flies when you're focused on something important.
Office Hours
  • Make use of office hours - Don't hesitate to make an appointment if office hour times are not convenient for you.
  • Don't wait until it's "too late" to seek help - If you are having trouble, let the Prof know, and show you are concerned.
  • Come to office hours with definite questions, concerns, or problems in mind - Don't wait until you arrive to think about what you need help with.
  • Never ask, "Did I miss anything important in class the other day?" - Of course you did!
  • Unless the Prof makes a point of giving the class his or her number do not call him or her at home.
Papers and Exams
  • Hand in papers on time - ask for extension only under the most extraordinary circumstances - for example, you own impending death!
  • Do not ask if your paper is graded the day after you handed it in - You had a reasonable amount of time to write it; now give the Prof a reasonable amount of time to grade it.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, grading is not easy, and Profs do not take sadistic pleasure in it. It is the worst part of the job, and Profs strive to be as fair as possible

Used with the permission of William Irwin, King's College, PA


This website was originally developed by Charles Camp for CIVL 3121.
This site is maintained by the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis.
Your comments and questions are welcomed.

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Department of Civil Engineering | 104 Engineering Science Bldg |Memphis, TN 38152 | Phone: 901/678-2746 | Fax: 901/678-3026 | Last updated: 09/08/2016