Many factors affect communication in the classroom including the professor’s speaking style, classroom setting and type of class. The following suggestions are designed to help you get the most out of the classroom experience.
Meet with Your Professors
It is recommended that you meet with each of your professors before the semester begins, or as early as possible in the semester, to clarify any accommodations you may need in class. It is also helpful to meet with your professors regularly throughout the semester to discuss any communication issues that may arise.
In many classes you may choose to sit in the front row. However in some classes you may prefer to sit in the second or third row in order to observe classmates and the dynamics of the class environment. Take these options into consideration on the first day of class so that you can select the seating location that best fits your needs for lecture and classroom participation.
If you are enrolled in a class that includes discussion or participation, talk with the professor about a seating arrangement that will match your communication needs. For example, the most effective arrangement for group discussion is a circle or semi-circle. Discuss your needs with the professor any time the seating arrangement in the class does not meet your needs.
If you rely on an interpreter or on speech reading, it will be important for you to have adequate lighting during slide presentations or videos. Be sure to communicate this need to your professors early in the semester so they can make lighting modifications if necessary.
Questions and Comments
You may want to ask each of your professors to repeat comments or questions made by other students in class so you can be sure you heard or understood what was being said. This can be done very discreetly and usually benefits other students in class.