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U.S. Classroom Guidelines

Compared to classrooms in other countries, U.S. classrooms tend to be informal. Remember however, that there are some very important basic rules observed in U.S. classrooms.

Classroom Atmosphere

  • Arrive on time for class! Professors do not take tardiness lightly.
  • American classrooms are often informal and the teacher may even sit on the desk sometimes.
  • Talking to other students or surfing the internet is not considered polite in a lecture class.
  • A sense of competition underlies the informality of classes.
  • You should expect several quizzes or short tests.
  • Professors make evaluations throughout the semester. Final grades are not simply determined by your score on the final exam.
  • If you wish to record the lecture of a class, first ask the professor for his/her permission.
  • Be aware of the strict rules against plagiarism at Indiana Tech (see the next page for additional information)

Prepare for Class

  • Remember to go to class prepared. Do your homework and required readings before class.
  • Do assignments exactly as the professor asks. Follow his or her directions and ask questions if you do not understand.
  • Assignments, tests, and quizzes are usually listed in the course syllabus.
  • It is your responsibility to follow the course syllabus when assignments are due.
  • Hand in all assignments on time throughout the semester.


  • Be on time to class and appointments.
  • If you are late to class, enter quietly and go to your seat. Do not walk up to the professor until after class.
  • If you know that you will be late or absent, inform the professor ahead of time by email.
  • When you miss a class, ask the professor or a classmate for the assignments and notes.

Speak Up

  • Do not be afraid to voice opinions that are different from that of your professor or classmates.
  • Voicing a well-informed opinion is important to overall academic evaluation.
  • Respect other people’s opinions and expect to be respected for yours.
  • Class participation includes going to class, answering questions and working with classmates.

Any Questions?

  • It is appropriate to ask questions in class.
  • Raise your hand and wait for the professor to recognize you before you speak.
  • Communicate immediately with professors about any issues related to the material or personal issues that may inhibit course performance.
  • Professors are available outside of the classroom during their “office hours”.