The teaching at university is a bit different to what you might be used to at school or college. Read on to find out what to expect from lectures, and how to get the most out of them...
During a lecture, the lecturer stands at the front of the lecture theatre and talks through a specific topic. They may also have slide shows or other presentations.
This doesn’t mean that all you have to do in a lecture is sit there and listen, however. To make sure they don’t just go in one ear and out the other, you should do some work before and after as well.
- Most lectures last for over an hour, so there’s a lot to remember. Many lecturers will give out handouts, but you’ll need to make your own notes as well. This will help you focus during the lecture, and give you something to jog your memory afterwards.
- Don’t attempt to write down everything the lecturer says though. Always arrive before the lecture is due to start, and pick up any handouts first. That way you’ll know which things have already been summarised, so you don’t end up copying them out again. Then, during the lecture, you can concentrate on making notes when the lecturer goes into more detail about specific things.
- Many students come up with their own shorthand style so they can get things down fast. This is fine – provided you can actually make sense of your own scribbles later!
- Don’t worry too much if you miss a few things, since there will normally be an opportunity to ask the lecturer to quickly recap certain points at the end.
- Finally, remember that everyone else is trying to concentrate as well. Don’t talk to your friends when the lecturer’s speaking – even if you’re asking them questions about the lecture itself. It’s much better to discuss it with them afterwards, when you can swap ideas without people telling you to ‘ssshhhhh!’ And whatever you do – don’t forget to turn off your mobile phone!