BIO 349 Developmental Biology (K. Kalthoff)

How to Study Effectively in This Course

A. Before Each Class

1. Budget 30-60 min of time. Get your syllabus and class outlines, and textbook.
2. Identify the upcoming topic in the syllabus; the bracketed number indicates the corresponding textbook chapter.
3. Compare the table of contents at the front of the book chapter with the class outline of the same topic. This will tell you which aspects I will emphasize or omit in my lecture.
4. Scan selectively those parts of the book chapters that appear in the class outline. The goals at this point are

5. If something is unclear, don't get hung up on it; mark it for particular attention in class.


This first step is critical. It will save you much unnecessary note taking (because you know what is in the text), and it will help you to focus your attention in class (because you already know which parts were difficult for you).

B. During Class

1. Take notes on those issues that you do not remember being in the text and on those items that I emphasize strongly.
2. Be especially attentive when I discuss those parts that seemed difficult during your preparation.
3. Ask questions when the opportunity arises.


Attending class should be an enjoyable experience. For the most part, things should be clicking into place right then and there. If you feel overwhelmed in class, you need to invest more in your preparation (step A).

C. After Class

1. Budget 1-2 hours of high quality working time. Get your class outline, notes, and textbook.
2. Go over your class outline point by point. Check whether you remember

3. Read any textbook parts that I have marked as an assigned reading in the outline, even though I may not have covered in in lecture.
4. Study any pertinent movies, comments, corrections, and updates on website.
5. If anything is unclear check your notes and the text, which has a good index. If an item is still unclear, mark it for clarification in discussion section.


The textbook contains more material than is covered in class. Use the outline and your notes as guidelines for which parts of the text to focus on.

D. In Discussion Section

1. Come with questions prepared.
2. Participate - this is not the time to be modest.
3. If anything is still unclear discuss it with the instructor or teaching assistant after class or during office hours.

E. Before Exams

1. Familiarize yourself with Exam and Grading Policies and with the various formats of exam questions. I will discuss a few sample questions before the first midterm. Old Exams are available on this web site. However, going over these these old exams may not be the best investment of your time as emphasis on certain areas may shift from one class to the next.
2. Repeat steps C and D.
3. Maintain a healthy life style.

F. General

Take in interest in the subject matter. If you do, much of the course material will stick to your mind naturally. Contrary to what well-meaning parents and counselors may have told you, the most important thing about college is NOT the GPA. You are here to cultivate and enjoy your mind. If you do, the GPA will take care of itself.

Go back to Home Page

Website maintained by Dr. Klaus Kalthoff
E mail:
Last modified: 12 August 2002