Meet Jordan!

Meet Max (formerly known as Jordan)!

As the Spring 2018 semester progressed, Dr. Hatley realized some students could benefit from understanding what it means to be a great student and how to improve their study skills.  Not sure to what extent students already had and applied this knowledge, she asked her COSC 314 Web Programming class for characteristics and habits they thought good students have.   She used their generated list to create an “ideal” student by the name of Jordan (because it is a girl’s name as well as a boy’s name and could apply to all students).

She then categorized these characteristics and habits, describing what Jordan would do “before,” “during,” and “after” class.  These categories and characteristics are featured below.

Later, Dr. Hatley added details about what students should do while studying, just in case this concept was confusing or they simply wanted to identify and practice ways to improve their studying abilities.  These details are also listed below, followed by links to more tips on how to be successful Math and Computer Science students.

So far, some students embrace and resemble Jordan, while others are finding it difficult to: believe Jordan could even exist, to adopt these characteristics, and to be like Jordan. 

Where do you stand?

Bookmark this page and review it often to measure where you stand.  The original list of characteristics generated by the students are features at the bottom of this post.

Max (formerly known as Jordan) would:

Mindset/General Behavior/Habits

  • Not Procrastinate
  • Take initiative (ask questions, self-start)
  • Be Ambitious – never settles bare minimum, goes beyond, does more than is required
  • Motivate classmates
  • Be Disciplined
  • Have amazing Time Management skills
  • Ask for help
  • Give help
  • Work well independently and within groups
  • Smell and speak professionally
  • Celebrate victories (big and small)
  • Checks Blackboard for Announcements, Assignments, and Updates Regularly (without being told to do so)


  • Complete and confirms all assignment meets requirements
  • Study
  • Get prepared


  • Come to class prepared and ready
  • Be Engaged in and often participate in class conversations/discussions
  • Pay Attention throughout the entire class
  • Take Notes
  • Arrive on-time
  • Pass class assessments (quizzes, tests, oral questions)
  • Put phone away, unless it was pertinent to class activities

After Class

  • Not procrastinate to get the next assignment ready and completed
  • Review assignments immediately and plan to complete them during the next several study sessions or otherwise appropriate times
  • Research to gain better/full understanding of topics (conduct research on his/her own)
  • Study
Students: Image used from

Students: Image used from

How to Study:

Realize that if you do not already do this, that it may be challenging.  Do not be afraid and/or shrink from this challenge.  Decide and commit to studying with better habits. Try it!!!

  • You should study 2-3 hours a week for every credit hour you are enrolled.  For a 3 credit course, you should study for 6-9 hours that week.  If this is beyond your stamina or is unrealistic due to your work schedule, decrease this time to1.5 or 2 hours and then increase as you get used to it.  Monitor and change this every week, as needed.
  • Before you begin studying, establish your goals.  Say to yourself, “During this study session, I am going to…”
    • Set realistic goals that you can measure.  These are called SMART goals.
  • Divide your study time into blocks of time that you can manage, start with 15 minute blocks, take a 5 minute break, then begin studying again.  Then, increase your study blocks by 5 minutes (do 10, if you can focus) as your studying stamina increases.  So, if you plan to study for an hour, every 15 minutes, you should give yourself a 5 minute break.  Be discipline to start exactly after the 5 minute break.  Do not count these 5 minute breaks in your overall study time.  So, if you take 4 breaks, the total time spent would be one hour and 20 minutes.
  • Activities to perform while studying
    • Review class notes and previous study session notes
    • Read and reread, if necessary
    • Take Notes
      • Document and continuously review vocabulary
      • Write concepts in your own words
      • Review your own words (as you become more familiar with the concepts, attempt to use the original defining words (this increases your vocabulary overall and your confidence in your ability to explain and reexplain concepts when asked or assessed (as in on tests and quizzes)
    • Draw
      • Attempt to draw your understanding of the concepts you are reading about/learning
    • Create a list of questions
      • Ask for help if you can’t figure out the challenge after 20 minutest
      • Document a list of questions for your professor and ask them during the next class session
    • Ponder (think) and Reflect (summarize what you know and don’t know)
      • Attempt to understand the concept in a different problem set than those discussed in class or those in your book (this will strengthen your thinking and problem-solving about and with the topic)
      • If you are studying coding or math of any kind, PRACTICE the concepts you just learned. 
        • Share your code and/or math problems with your instructor for feedback.
  • When you are sure you cannot be distracted by others who are not focused, get a study partner AND/OR join a study group.

More study tips and tricks: 

Original List of Student-Generated Characteristics (in no particular order):

  1. Not Procrastinate
  2. Review assignments immediately and plans accordingly
  3. Come to class prepared and ready
  4. Complete and confirms all assignment meets requirements, before class
  5. Take initiative (ask questions, self-start)
  6. Be Ambitious – never settles bare minimum, goes beyond, does more than is required
  7. Be Engaged in class conversations
  8. Pay Attention
  9. Take Notes
  10. Motivate classmates
  11. Research to gain better/full understanding of topics
  12. Be Disciplined
  13. Have amazing Time Management skills
  14. Ask for Help 
  15. Give Help
  16. Study all the time
  17. Be prepared
  18. Come to class on-time
  19. Pass every assessment
  20. Work well independently and within groups
  21. Use Professional Language
  22. Celebrate victories

Max / Jordan is an ideal (CS) student.  To your liking, Jordan can represent a male or female and can be of any particular race/ethnicity that you find appropriate.

Be Max …Jordan!

1 Comment

Remy Ntoh · September 8, 2020 at 1:52 am

Everyone can be a Jordan if we try and sacrifice!

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