How to use Principedia for Course Selection and Advising

Ever wish you knew what Princeton classes actually entailed before you enrolled—how you’d be taught, what you could expect (and be expected) to learn, and how you’d be tested? Principedia provides just that. The site’s course analysis articles answer these questions in great detail from the student perspective so you can make informed decisions about a particular course and assemble a balanced and rewarding schedule of classes. Course analyses also give you a sense of what to expect to take away from the course so you can assess a course’s benefits in relation to its demands.

Principedia course analysis articles can be used by peer and faculty advisors and students themselves to augment their knowledge of specific courses across the curriculum. Course articles “crack open” courses to reveal how courses actually unfold.

Knowing the inner workings and (often invisible) expectations and demands of Princeton courses is indispensable to students for creating a manageable and balanced schedule. Principedia can also increase students’ confidence, self-efficacy, and success by explaining how to learn effectively from the instruction they receive in specific courses and at Princeton more generally. What’s more, revealing the invisible curriculum, and equipping students with concrete methods and strategies directly challenges false beliefs about effortless perfection and empowers all students irrespective of their educational backgrounds.

When considering courses for your schedule, navigate to course articles for a detailed description of its expectations and learning demands—and concrete methods for meeting them—as well as sections on expected outcomes or take aways for students. This information combined with the students’ knowledge of themselves as learners and their interests as well as the advisor’s knowledge and experience can help students make choices not only about individual courses, but about creating an engaging, balanced, and sound course schedule as a whole.

Each iteration (semester) of a course can vary considerably. Instructors have much latitude and may experiment with the design of their courses from term to term, so course analyses should be taken as a starting point for understanding the inner workings of an upcoming course. From reading them, students might generate more specific questions to ask their advisor(s), Director of Studies, or the course head/professor.

In sum, Principedia is a unique and extremely useful campus-specific advising resource that can enhance students’ course selection and class schedule creation.