Study Skill: Events and Activities Outside the Classroom

“Nurturing a community where 75% of the traditional student population participates in college-sponsored activities.” — 2020 goal, Champlain College Student Life department

A subversive strategy for earning extra credit

You may have heard some of  your older professors speak of a time when, to have a social life as a college student, one had to leave one’s dorm or apartment and be in the company of other people. When these elders spoke of “friends,” they meant only people with whom they had spent some time in a physical space. They may speak with wistful nostalgia of the great lectures and films they attended outside the classroom with their college chums (they may actually use the word chums).

Of course, the notion of extending one’s learning beyond the classroom never went away. Indeed, technology has knocked down classroom walls and opened up channels to learning unimaginable not so long ago. The “cloud” is no replacement, however, for the auditorium or presentation hall where one gathers with other humans to experience something together in real time.

Champlain College embraces this fact and offers you wide-ranging events and activities that complement your classroom learning nearly every single day and night of the semester. This blog site — is worth a bookmark for keeping track of the opportunities available to enrich your learning experience. You can also “like” Champlain College Teachable Events on Facebook.

Attend these events for fun and intellectual growth. Still not convinced it’s worth the price (usually free) of admission? Read on.

A subversive strategy for earning extra credit:

Some professors will not, under any circumstances, offer you extra credit for anything — anything! And who can blame them? Well, you can blame them, but it probably won’t do any good.

What might do some good, however, is this: Identify an event or activity outside the classroom that appears to have some connection to specific content in the course for which you’re seeking extra credit, and build an argument for why you should receive extra credit for attending the event.

1. Communicate to your professor the specific connections you envision between the event and course content, demonstrating that you have done some preliminary research into the event.

2. Describe some key questions — questions relevant to your course work — that you will have in mind, and that you will attempt to answer, as you attend the event.

3. Describe the form that your extra-credit assignment will take — a written reflection, a class presentation, a discussion in conference with the professor.

4. Carry out the above three steps with the proper attitude and tone. Present yourself as a serious student with a sincere interest in learning what you can from the event, not as a student who has fallen behind — probably missed some assignments — and is now desperate to make up some points.

5. If the professor refuses to extend extra credit to you for attending the event, go anyway. Later, make subtle mention to your professor that you attended the event for your own edification. Maybe she or he will grant you extra credit the next time you ask for it.

Good luck!


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