Students’ Interests, Perceptions, and Motives Student perspectives on the first day of class. Baron Perlman and Lee I.McCann What introductory psychology students attend to on a course syllabus. Angela H.Becker and
The first class meeting of any course is more important than many faculty realize. It sets the tone for what is to follow and can greatly influence students’ opinions about the course and instructor for the remainder of the semester. Several authors have provided faculty-oriented guidance for a successful course beginning (e.g., Davis, 1993; Johnson, 1995; McKeachie, 1994; Nilson, 1998; Pica, Barnes, & Finger, 1990; Wolcowitz, 1984). They are unanimous on some recommended goals: setting a positive atmosphere, communicating course objectives, taking care of administrative details, grabbing the students’ attention, and introducing yourself. Authors diverge on use of the entire hour for the first class meeting and in recommending covering course content.