Inside the Classroom

Students in a classroomUpholding Academic Values at Western

Western students are encouraged to actively participate, think independently, take initiative and think critically in the classroom and during their education experience here at Western. Students are also encouraged to seek assistance (academic, personal, financial or immigration related) whether it be from professors, Western staff members, fellow students or one of Western’s Support Services.

Canadian Classroom Etiquette

Western University promotes a respectful and safe learning environment for all students and each member of Western’s community is encouraged to do the same. Here is a list of things to consider regarding classroom etiquette here at Western:

  • Be on time
  • Eat food and drinks quietly; don't make a mess
  • Sit closer to the front to avoid being distracted
  • Confirm with each professor/lecturer that recording lectures is permitted
  • Typing notes during class is typically acceptable
  • Avoid talking with other students during class, as not to disturb others
  • Most professors allow questions to be asked during lectures
  • Feel free to say hello and introduce yourself to other students sitting around you

What is a syllabus?

Students typically receive a course syllabus (also known as a course outline) at the beginning of the term, either from your professor or it could also be emailed to you. A syllabus includes a description of the course, course requirements, a class schedule and other relevant information including the professor's office hours, contact information and information about Teaching Assistants (if applicable). Teaching Assistants (T.A.) often teach labs or tutorials, which are smaller classes that focus on practice/discussion to help students better understand the course material.

We strongly recommend that you review the syllabus when your course begins so that you can learn more about the course and decide if it is right for you. Sometimes syllabi for courses offered in previous years are posted on department websites. If you have additional questions or need clarification about something that was not addressed in class, we encourage you to make an appointment to see your professor or T.A. during their office hours.

Absences and Late Submissions due to Personal Issues or Illness

If you experience a problem or illness that affects your ability to submit assignments or attend lectures, labs, tutorials or exams, you are strongly advised to discuss the issue with your professor as soon as possible. Professors know that you may face difficulties beyond your control and they often prepare contingency plans. Some professors require proof (i.e. a doctor's note), so it is best to contact them as soon as you can by email, phone, leaving them a note with their administrative assistant or visiting during office hours.

Consult the Academic Calendar for more information.