Students often struggle with placing more importance on a grade rather than the learning itself. Learning is more than a grade; the purpose of learning is gaining deep understanding and integrating new knowledge with previous knowledge.

Have you ever heard someone complain “I didn’t learn anything in that class”? This implies that the work of learning falls solely on the teacher. However, the reality is that the primary responsibility for the work of learning falls on the learner (student).

Teaching and learning is a partnership; faculty and students must develop a relationship that facilitates the teaching-learning process. Faculty responsibilities include sharing knowledge, skills, attitudes, resources, and assessing student mastery of the course content/concepts. The student’s role is to develop skills of metacognition [metacognition – knowing what you don’t know, awareness of your thinking and learning process] and becoming self-directed learners [self-directed learning – taking initiative in your learning].

For students, as seekers of new knowledge and skills, the work of learning is your responsibility. One component of the work of learning is being well prepared for class (e.g., completing all reading assignments and reviewing study aids/resources prior to class). Students who come to class prepared will find it is significantly easier to fully engage in the class, and therefore enrich their learning.

UMHB Student taking an exam

Being prepared for class, asking questions in class, going to see your faculty during office hours, and searching for additional resources are all effective ways to increase understanding and help you, the learner, master the course content/concepts. Faculty are happy to assist students who are interested in learning!

Make a study plan focusing on truly learning the material rather than just making a good grade. When you focus on learning (deep understanding and application of information), good grades typically result.

The next time you are in class, or as you encounter challenging content/concepts, choose to take ownership and responsibility for your learning. Begin by asking yourself –

  • What do I want to know?
  • What do I need to know?
  • Where can I find information?
  • Can I apply the new knowledge?
  • How do I know I have mastered this content?

Remember, whether for your desired profession or for your personal development, learning is more than a grade; learning is about acquiring new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. While teaching and learning is a partnership, ultimately, the work of learning is the responsibility of the learner.

If the purpose for learning is to score well on a test, we’ve lost sight of the real reason for learning.Jeannie Fulbright

UMHB is known as a university where outstanding faculty members provide not only great classroom experiences but also the personal attention students need to learn and grow. Our student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, allowing students the opportunity to know their professors personally. For more information, we invite you to visit our website, or stop by for a visit!