Lectures maybe something you didn’t consider when you thought about uni. You may have thought, “Well, every student has them, so what’s so difficult”. I’m going to teach you some tips, specifically in relation to Loughborough University, that will help you to get the best out of lectures.
1. The obvious – turn up on time
It is so important that you are there from the beginning so that you listen to the full lecture. Something said at the beginning may be vitally important and often is, to set the scene for what the tutor is about to talk about. Often, they will tell you what they are going to talk about, almost like a contents page and this is important for understanding the structure of your lecture.
2. Take a notebook
Almost a given. I do my best to find a pretty notebook that I will want to pick up and write in. This may not be the same for you guys! Just find something that you like. Note taking is key to success. You want to make brief notes that you can understand and come back to later. I use the bullet point method as it breaks down what the lecturer has said. As I am also doing an Art based degree, I draw little sketches to help me remember visually what the tutor has said. Some people on my course take a laptop or tablet and type out notes. Do whatever is best for you.
It is more important to listen than write. One of our lecturers told us to put our pens down in her lectures and just to listen. This helps you to absorb the whole context rather than looking at the lines on your paper and anxiously getting every note down. This leads into point four…
4. Online ‘Learn’
A really useful resource. Even in your very first weeks of uni you will be used to the online platform Learn. Here, your tutors will put up the Powerpoints form their lectures and this helps when revising but is also a good resource for revisiting. This is why the sit back and listen approach may be useful to some.
5. Ask Questions
Don’t be scared to ask questions. It will help you to engage but also to get the best understanding. If you are apprehensive about asking in front of everyone on your course, then nip over to the tutor at the end. They will always be able to help.
As I have already mentioned, reviewing a lecture can help a lot with your understanding. Whether it is finding the Powerpoint on Learn and flicking through it, reading back through your notes and annotating them or highlighting key points. Make sure to go back and have a reread. It will make revision a lot easier when it comes to exam time.
Most importantly, enjoy what you are listening to. You have chosen a degree because you are interested in that subject area. Being enthusiastic is key to understanding.