Understanding the U.S Classroom Learning Environment

In order to better understand U.S. classroom culture:

1) Watch the 4 minute video Living in the U.S.- Formal Classroom Culture
2) Read the webpages, U.S. Academic Culture and US Classroom Culture (insert the webpage addresses into Lingro  first for vocabulary development)
3) Answer the questions below by leaving comment in the box
4) Respond to three other student's comments


1. Do you agree with the webpage author's and the video's characterization of U.S. classroom culture and values? What experiences have you had that confirm or contradict the writers' claims?

2. What values do you think are most important in your country's classroom learning environment? Explain.

Comments

  1. 1. Yes, I agree. First, profession will give us syllabus to make sure we can understand what she/he will teach whole semester. Second, I think as a university student I should attend every class so that I can learn more form the class. It is shows that we should respect ourselves and our teacher and classmates. Last but not least, we should participate class more active. At begin of this semester I receive a lot of syllabus. It is confirm the writer's claims.
    2. I think all students should respect themselves and others. Because you respect yourselves, you will hand in homework on time and you can learn a lot. If you respect other it is shows you will be quiet in class. It is can make a good learning environment.

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    1. Arthur Lee

      1. Students can get better understanding when following the syllabus pointed out that American class is well-organized. Students can get whether a class is fit with themselves or not. Also, they can prepare and make a plan for the whole semester without confusion.

      2. Respecting each other indicated that student can have fine leaning environment. By doing this way, students can get enough information and knowledge in a limited time.

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    2. Juhyeon Park

      1. You pointed out that using syllabus and participation. I also think using syllabus is very helpful to understanding the class, and participation is very important in U.S class. I really agree your think.

      2. You emphasized that respecting each other makes good class environment, it makes student concentrate their work. I agree.

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    3. Elihu
      1: I agree your opinion. Classes syllabus is very helpful to class. Lot of important information in there, such as office hour, rule of class and grade percent.
      2: Home work is very basic work, but very important part. Most professor give the high percent.

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    4. Yeah, I agree with you. You pointed our that we need to attend every class. That's a really important question for most of college students. We could learn more stuff from class, not just from our college life.

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    5. Nanako
      1. I agree with you. We should look syllabus carefuly. All of important infromations are on it.
      2. Yes. We should respect others in the class. To hand out homework on due day is really important thing to not get bad gread and also to respect professor.

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    6. Qiuyu Chen

      I agree with you and your idea.

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    7. I agree with your opinion. Syllabus is very important for us and other native students.

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  2. 1. Basically the author is saying that in a US classroom you have to always participate, which is shown by asking questions to professors. I agree with the author because personally for me asking questions and clarification has helped me a lot in understanding assignments and projects. professors are very friendly and always willing to help.

    2. The most important values in a Kenyan classroom is respecting your teachers and fellow students,and also coming to class on time. Respect is shown by being quite when the teacher is talking and raising your hand when you have a question and being nice to your classmates.

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    1. Arthur Lee

      1. Participation in a class indicated that it is important to clarify the ambiguous concepts. Students may not know them correctly, which can major impact on their score.

      2. Being quiet and raising one's hand if one have a question when the teacher is talking pointed out that it is important to show respect in a Kenyan classroom.

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    2. Charity emphasized that it is important to respect teacher. I think it is common throughout the world, but it is interesting that it is one of the most important things in your country. I also think asking questions is helpful to understand the assignments and projects.

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    3. 1. I agree everything what you said in number one. I think every professors in University of Wisconsin river falls are friendly and willing to help us. Let's not be afraid of asking question to professor and have confidence!!!
      2. I never knew Kenyan classrooms are like this. Thank you for telling us the story.
      I think Korea and Kenyan classroom has lot's of similar things about what you had written.

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    4. Nanako
      1. I agree. For me, also asking question to professor is helpful. When I was a college student in Japan, I did not often to ask question to professor, but in here, I am trying to ask quetion to professor.
      2. I think Kenyan and Japan is quite a same. In japan, those things are important too.

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    5. Qiuyu Chen

      Your opinion that I agree too.

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    6. I agree with you. We should all respect the teachers and the classmates.

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  3. Arthur Lee

    1. In this text, the author argues that interactions between professor and students are important. However, I partially agree with the idea because just sitting behind and keeping silent do not produce positive influence on both professor and students. For example, when I took Money & Banking class, one student asked question about yield curve. The professor, specifically Dr. Kelly, was happy to be asked and he taught us precisely and explained us deeply. Thanks to this explanation, I could understand more and better than the materials in the textbook. The text book just roughly described that concept even though it was significantly important to understand the process of banking system. In other parts, however, I could not agree with too much relaxed posture when listening the lecture. I saw some guy just lie on the chair. In my opinion, I think it was just insulting professor right in front of his/her face.

    2. The most important thing in our classroom environment is respect each other. We do not make noise and do not cut into professor's word while he/she is lecturing because someone may be distracted. We also respect those who are eager to learn more. For example, I heard that people call someone who studying hard as a "nerd." However, in my culture, we encourage him/her and admire to be good at studying.

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    1. Arthur has rightly pointed out that questions asked in the class also help the other students as well because some things need to be explained more. Moreover, Arthur has highlighted one important scenario which is usually seen in a school, about calling those students a 'nerd' who study a lot. This practice should be discouraged, though it happens in my country as well.

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    2. Arthur, I agree with you, being silent without asking question when you don't understand something does you no good. Also, Korea has a lot in common with Kenya, respect is very important and also people who study hard in my country are admired and treated well, they are role models in our society.

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    1. Ya, I think mutual respect is very important things too.

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  5. 1. Yes, I agree with it. This video suggest that how can you get understand of your class with syllabus and how can you communicate with your professor. The purpose of professor give syllabus to us, is just let us know every step of this semester. For example: the time of mid- term test and the due time for your final project. Although use the after class time is a great option for you, but go to talk with your professor during his/her office hour would be more respectful.
    2. In China, we always have more than 70 students in one classroom. Because of that population, everyone should be quiet to keep a good environment for us to study. Also because of this population, you will have more classmates. That’s a good option for international students to communicate with other students, and become friends!

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    1. Arthur Lee

      1. Taking a close look at the syllabus and how to communicate with professor indicated that following those steps is important for students to adapt American college class.

      2. Big number of population in class pointed out that it is important to stay quiet is important in China. It is because everyone in class should have better learning environment. It is clear that students will be distracted and class course will not progress if 70 students keep talking and asking questions.



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    2. ya, syllabus is help me too much.

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    3. Nanako
      1. I agree. Sometimes, I go to proffessors place to ask question. It is really helpful to understand.
      2. It is interesting. 70 students in the class. It is very major class. And I understand why you need to be quiet in the class.

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  6. Qiuyu Chen

    1. Yes. I agree with that some parts. On the whole,professors would give students syllabus at the beginning of semester to make us know what work we will do and what important information should be known. Professors will have a hard time speaking international students' name, however, they will also repeat many times to remember those stranger names and make sure will not be wrong. My professors will not allow us to use laptop and phone during class and want us to ask questions immediately. Certainly, professors want us feel free to ask them at office time after class. Basically the author is saying that the differences of U.S. class environment and UK's. I strongly agree that the author gives some tips, I will obey his suggestion. In other text, the author argues that honest is very important concepts in U.S. Students are not allowed to plagiarize or cheat whether students have any pretense. It could have some influences for learning in the future or whole life. I totally applaud what the article's saying.

    2. We have different culture, normally, our class have many students between 30 to 60 around, I think that the consciousness is the important in Chinese class environment. Since professor could not organized whole of students at the same time. If you want to study well, you should ask question or study hard by self. If not like that, nobody care what you are doing. It looks similar with american's, because of the difference of collage system that students just pass mid exam and final exam, take great grade, then could pass this semester easily. In U.S. collage system, the credit is the way to define which school year you are.

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    1. do more communication is good idea for improve English skill.

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    2. Qiuyu indicated that there are many students in one class, and students have to participate class actively to study well. Especially at university, I feel that it is own choice or responsibility studying hard or not.

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    3. Yeah, I agree with Qiuyu. You emphasized the important of a good environment. I suggest our classroom, that's the best place for us to study!

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    4. I think we can agree that most professors do not like it when students use electronics in class. I get that studying hard is a personal choice, however I think professors also help you understand a lot of concepts easily which would be hard to get on your own.

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    5. Communication is very important for us. It can not only help us to get more friends, but can also help us to learn more from the class.

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  7. Juhyeon Park

    1. Content informations are really correct with my university life. In this text, the author argues that meeting with professor feel free, participation is very important part to every students, active participation is acceptable, many opportunity about informality meeting with professor, close relationship student and professor, using a syllabus to introduce class information are U.S class features. These features make feel sympathy with my university life.

    2. Participation is also most of important part in korea. It occupy a large portion of students' final mark. Test score is also important as much as participation.

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    1. 1. I couldn't understand the part you talk about "these features make feel sympathy with my university life". Is this mean you agree with the things you write about?

      2. I agree that you talks about the part of "score". I think test scores are much important than the participation.

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  8. 1. Do you agree with the webpage author's and the video's characterization of U.S. classroom culture and values? What experiences have you had that confirm or contradict the writers' claims?

    I agree with the webpage author's and the video's characterization of U.S. classroom culture and values.
    I think these videos and web page articles are very detailed in explaining American educational culture. I have experienced much of mentioned in video and web page writings.

    The article/video suggest that to ask questions even about the syllabus because it is the rule of the class and very important to actively participate in the discussions in classroom, if you have a question - raise your hand, reading homework class - take a note & write down some questions, if you have any questions or problem - visit professor at the time of office hours.



    2. What values do you think are most important in your country's classroom learning environment? Explain.

    I think the relationship between professor and student is the most important because the professor should be comfortable, free to ask questions, and participate more hard in class.
    I hope that the relationship between Professor and student in Korea will be even easier. Nowadays, there is a tendency to share a lot of conversations with the professor while asking questions during class, but they still can not find the professor room or contact the professor easily. Many Korean students are difficult and uncomfortable with professors. Maybe it's because of the age-old custom. It seems uncomfortable and hard to look too polite.

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    1. Juhyeon Park

      1. You also pointed that the syllabus, and office hours. When I brought the syllabus in U.S class room, I thought it has very important information and very useful. In U.S class, the professor has many office hours and we can contact with the professor freely as before sending e-mail.

      2. Daniel! you wrote really good explaining to South Korea class's atmosphere! You pointed out that relationship between professor and student, and Sharing a conversation during class time. Relationship between professor and student is not more closer than U.S class. When I met my Korean professor, i must send message or calling before i meeting. I must greeting politely when I met my korean professor. Korean professor was a difficult existence for me (may be for every korean students?). In additional, Korea class's atmosphere is changing more freely like U.S class. Some class make group and sharing their opinion about something freely. However, we still maintain quite atmosphere. It's right?

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    2. Daniel emphasized that professor and student's relationship are not so close, and it is not easy to contact with professor in Korea. Depending on the university, I think that there is a tendency in Japan a bit. It is relatively easy to talk to a young professor, but in the case of older professor, students may not be able to come to office easily.

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  9. 1. Virtually agree. Every class introduce syllabus at the begging of semester. In addition, a lot of classes have a group discussion, and I also participated group discussion in some classes. Also many Americans prefer to use laptop in the class to take a memo. I saw it in many times, but I never seen that someone use audio recorder. Furthermore, the article says, in the class, you should respect Proffessor, so you shouldn't eat food and shouldn't show your unrespectful, but I saw many times American eat foods in the class, and a lot of Americans put their legs on the table or chair in the class. I think it's rude. This attitude is not respect to teacher. I do not agree on this point.

    2. I think in Japan, most important thing is taking lecture quietly. We do not do group discussion, and also we do not use lap top in the class. Just sit desk and take a memo quietly.

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    1. Juhyeon Park

      1. You pointed out that the syllabus and the group discussion, and indicated that the class atmosphere in riverfalls. It was very shocking and interesting! Eating food, putting their legs on the table or chair are very rude, and it could make class's atmosphere badly.

      2. When I read your second answer, I really sympathized with your answer. You pointed out that taking lecture quietly. It also very very important thing in The South Korea University. Sometime, we could not regist required major lecture! We must taking the lecture quietly!! Do not making group discussion many time, and do not using the lap top in the class is also similiar feature in my country. I think U.S class's atmosphere is very special than the other nation's class.

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    2. Nanako has highlighted the fact that many American students prefer to take notes on their laptops and I agree with that. Furthermore, I also agree with Nanako's about American classrooms being slightly disrespectful to the professors. Eating or not sitting appropriately is considered as against the manners of the classroom in my country.

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    3. Yeah, I agree with you. You indicated that participated group discussion is very important. Also, group discussion is a good way to communicate with your classmate, and become friends with them!

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    4. 1.Nanako, I had the same experience with you about group discussions being a major part of an American classroom
      2. same as my country

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    5. Qiuyu Chen

      Totally agree with you.

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    7. Nanako organized the video content and the content of the article well and indicated that a point difference from the reality! I also think that eating in the class or putting legs on the chair is not polite.
      I am interesting about there was no group discussion in the Japanese class, and student are not using the computer in the class. Because Korean students use many electronic devices in class and we have a lot of group discussions during the class.

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  10. 1. Yes, I agree the video some point, when the semester is beginning, our teacher will also us same of this. it is very helpful for us. For example, in these syllabus you can find the short term goal and long term goal, and you will learn something from this class. and in syllabus can tell u what time your professor stay the office.

    2. In china, we have 45 students in a class, the teacher will make 4 or 5 group to competition, and the champion will get gift. but most time we cannot be noise in class, we should keep a good environment.

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  11. Ans 1. Yes, I completely agree with the video's and webpage author's characterization of US classroom. Firstly, students are given the syllabus and explained about the course outline and how will it progress throughout the semester. Secondly, students are welcomed and expected to participate actively in the class, and for that purpose, there is some portion of marks associated with the class participation. Thirdly, students are expected to do some readings prior to the class and professors are happy to answer the queries of the students during the class or after it, or even in the office hours. Moreover, American classrooms are indeed a bit informal, in terms of sitting positions of students or sharing of ideas by the students (however not violating the professor's respect. On the other hand, I have experienced group discussions in one of my classes only.

    Ans 2. In my country, students are also welcomed to ask questions or contribute any ideas, but not up to the same extent as in US classrooms. Furthermore, classrooms are more formal, with students not allowed to eat during the class and pay more attention to the professor. Students are required to respect opinions of the other students in order to create a learning atmosphere. Some professors make use of chalk or white boards, along with slides, in order to make students understand a particular in a better way.

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    1. Juhyeon Park

      1. You pointed out that using syllabus, and U.S class's atmosphere. The South Korea University also have syllabus in every class, and it is very helpful as much as U.S class syllabus. I also thought U.S class atmosphere is freer than my country class's atmosphere.

      2. I really curioused about The Parkistan class's atmosphere. You indicated that Parkistan class's atmosphere! Thank you! When I read your answer, I thought The Parkistan class's atmosphere is similiar with The South Korea class's atmosphere. My country class atmosphere is also more formal than U.S class, and maintaing the good class atmosphere as respecting each other is very important. I felt your country and my country's class atmosphere is very similiar.

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    2. Haris is well organized with video content and article content! Haris organized them in a logical order and also talked about his own experiences. Haris pointed out that the American way of teaching was not formal, but he did well to keep things that he had to obey.
      Haris explained his country's educational environment well and I learned a little more about Pakistan. Thank you for your faithful posting and explanation!

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  12. Hello students! It is very interesting to read your comments. So many of you have talked about the informality of American classrooms. Quite honestly, I wish our classroom culture was slightly more formal. I think it is important to treat schools and universities different than leisure time. However, I think in the US students can approach their professors and engage in conversations easily. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    Many of you posted comments already. Nice work. Please remember to finish that task - of responding to three other classmates by Sunday, April 9th. Have a great weekend. Today - Saturday - is going to be beautiful!


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  13. chiaki shinoda

    1. I agree with those idea. The video suggest that it is important to check the syllabus and to participate discussion actively.In the United States, I feel that there are many opportunities to discuss. It was curious that it would be better to check the professor's English were written in British English or American English in their essay. In the article, the author argues that students can not eat food and sit down relaxed style during class. However, when I went to class, I saw some people who were eating candy and put their feet on the chair. I think it is different from article.

    2. In Japan, it is most important thing to participate and to do homework by the deadline. It is not important to participate discussing actively. There are not many people who go to ask about the syllabus and the class to the professor

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    1. Thank you for posting on the details. Good job!
      Chiaki pointed out that the content of the student's attitude during the class in the article differs from the actual. I saw her posting and realized that it was different. I have never seen a professor point out a student's attitude during class. So I was wondering what the professors actually do when the attitude of the students in the class is bad. I was wondering if the professors were pointing to it or were they lowering the score of the class attitude?
      Chiaki posting was very interesting, including explaining Japan, finding articles and things different from reality! Thank you Chiaki^^.


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  14. Chiaki has highlighted the difference that American classrooms require students to participate actively while classrooms in her country have more emphasis on completion of tasks by the deadline. Chiaki has mentioned a nice point from the video that students may confirm from the professor whether they are suppose to use American or British English while writing the paper.

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  15. Elihu Park
    1. I agree with this video that discussion is important idea. American classrooms feels like discussion group. Almost every classes were free to ask a question to professor so it help international student to easily understand. The experience I had was I was having hard time with understanding English in class in Korea, mostly I had to figure out my self but in here I could freely ask to professors so I don't have to figure out my self and understand right away. Now I am better listener because of the professors .

    2. I didn't went to Korea university so I don't know what is exactly important however, I went to Korea high school so I think taking note in class and participating to professors are important. I didn't had a syllabus in Korea, so I had hard time finding out when is the assignment or exams are due. Scores are really important in Korea so you need to here perfectly what professors are saying so you could catch the dates of exam or understanding what exams are going to be.

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  16. JiaLong Zheng
    1. Yes, I agree with the video and the webpages opinions. In US classrooms, everyone should attempt actively. Class discussions will be helpful during our study. Syllabus can also help the students to get familiar to the details of knowledge for the current semester. It can help the students to prepare for the coming class earlier. During our class, our teachers will give us the syllabus and ask us to prepare for the next class's details. We also have many discussions during the class with professors.

    2. In China, most teachers do not discuss with the students, especially in high schools. They always focus on the things they have been prepared for the students. If the students want to discuss with the teacher, they may come and find them after the class. However, not every teacher is like this. Some of the teachers are willing to have discussions and argument with the students in his or her class. I think the teachers should improve the communication with the students. This is important to get to know each students weakness and the projects they are good at. Good relationship can help both the teacher and the student.

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