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Thomson Nelson > Higher Education > Canadian Criminal Justice: A Primer 2nd Edition > 

Making the Most of Course Instructors & Course Outlines

Your course instructors can be valuable learning resources. At first, you may feel a little intimidated by them, especially if you are in large classes, but instructors can provide you with the help you need if you make the effort to see them during their office hours or by appointment. Surprisingly, many course instructors report few visitors during their office hours. By preparing fairly specific questions ahead of time, you can increase the likelihood your instructor will provide you with useful information.

The course outlines your instructors provide are a road map for the direction of the course and can also be useful learning resources. When you receive course outlines at the beginning of the term, look for the following:

  • your instructor' s name, office location, and office hours;
  • the course objectives and your instructor's approach to assignments and exams;
  • a topic outline to indicate the sequence of readings and lectures;
  • the method of evaluation in the course including how the marks are to be allotted;
  • any special instructions about how to complete assignments, essays, etc.; and
  • additional learning resources such as drop-in centres or available tutors.


From Joan Fleet, Fiona Goodchild and Richard Zajchowski, Learning for Success: Effective Strategies for Students, Third Edition (Toronto: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999), pp. 19-20

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