1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses What to ask the lecturer before taking his course?

  1. Nov 14, 2007 #1
    If a student wanted to do well for a course, he should ask the lecturer before hand about the course and prepare for it before the semester. What sort of questions should the student ask the lecturer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    The student usually does not need to ask the "lecturer" anything about how to prepare for the course. The student needs to have (hopefully recent) credit in the prerequisites for the course. If the student is in doubt after being informed on the prerequisites, then the student could ask the "lecturer" of the intended course.

    My own opinion about something like fundamental physics of Electricity & Magnetism is that merely having passed your Calc II course might not be enough to perform well in this E&M course. Having more mathematical applied maturity with the Calc II and analytical geometry are very very useful in ensuring good success and good learning. You would believe that the prerequisite courses are enough - but not always if you are weak at solving analytic geometry and calculus problems, or if you are still inexperienced doing so. For me, E&M at that level was a struggle. I could have done better if I would have repeated it, since I also restudied Calc II. In short, prerequisite course credit alone is not always enough.

    It is still up to you if you want to discuss how to succeed in the course with the "lecturer" (I assume you mean "instructor" or "professor").
  4. Nov 14, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    When I decided to ditch engineering and pursue English, a friend of mine alerted me to a course that was being offered to senior and graduate students in philosophy. The course was being offered by the head of the department, and it was intended to be a critical review of his book-in-process on the subject of meta-ethics. I approached Dr. Skorpen and asked if I could audit his course, and he asked if I could give him 15 minutes of my time during lunch. We talked for over 3 hours, and I got to take his course for full credit, and never had to take a 10x course in philosophy. I fell right into a double-major in English Lit and Philosophy. Ability and ambition can do a lot for you, if you're ready to push.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  5. Nov 14, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I would never ask the lecturer. Bad ones lie and good ones tell the true. You just have no way of telling who's who.
  6. Nov 14, 2007 #5
    Experience tells me that doing the subject beforehand is essential for success, unless if you have nailed the prereqs which I clearly haven't.
  7. Nov 14, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    You admit yourself that you are not comfortable with the pre-requisites, so surely that tells you what to prepare for before the class! You should make sure you know all you should know before you try and learn anything new.
  8. Nov 14, 2007 #7
    I use to think that way but when I told it to an academic, he said make sure it's relevant. In other words make sure the basic material is relevant to the subject. Not everything in the prereq subject is relevant to the existing subject. i.e Algebra is a prereq for algebraic topology. But 1/3 of the contents in my algebra course was on rings which is irrelevent to a basic course in algebraic topology.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook