How to benefit more from your lectures


You have your timetable, the term has started now what? Each lecture as much as it sound exciting can be boring and seem to be dragging on. Each week new topic, new information to take in, you may wonder why bother turn up when I can read at home. The materials and other resources are all on line why not stay home and study. The truth is all the reading and other resources are online but nothing beats actually being present in lessons and fully participating in the lesson. You miss the group discussions and the interaction, put simply you miss the chunk and the best part when you don’t turn up. But my lectures are boring you may say, well look no further I have put together 5 very important steps to prepare you for your lectures and how to make the most of each week so you can stay motivated.


1. Prepare

I cannot stress the importance of preparing for your lectures, I totally understand that you’re showing up to your lectures to listen and take in information. However bear in mind that this is not a one on one lecture so your professor will not be able to cater to each and every students style of learning. The delivery of the lecture may not suit your individual way of learning. By you preparing in advance you give yourself the best possible chance of understanding what is being said thus enabling you to have the best information to start and complete your assignments.


2. Pay attention

Ok, your professor is talking fast, their jargon and expressions are more articulate than you anticipated. Actually you don’t even understand what in the world they are talking about. The room is full but your mind is empty, you may wonder why you’re there. Do not lose hope, your preparation and paying attention is the first step to understanding. “Knowledge is power” so what you have prepared for previously by reading through the course information on your student hub will have prepared you for what will be said. Now you can draw on that information and make sense of it all.



3. Take notes

Yes you read the lectures online before attending the class, you have an idea what the lesson is all about, this is all part of the process. This next step is very important because what is provided online for your preparation and what your professor will say will help you understand and make sense of your subject. The examples and other information and personal references your professor may include in your lesson are priceless information that may not be contained in the slides or the PowerPoint presentation from your preparation. The key point here is to listening out for information that may have not have been in your lecture notes. I personally tend to write what they says word for word for emphasis, some expressions are key for your coursework or assignment.


4. Ask questions

No matter how stupid the question may be, ask it. This is not to say ask any question unrelated to the topic or subject. Ask for clarity for what you do not understand. Listen carefully to what is being said and ask questions. By asking questions you may even help your fellow students who maybe shy to ask. You also give your professor a chance to explain further or even simplify his delivery and help his teaching to be more effective to all who are listening.


5. Sit at the front

Now you may feel more comfortable sitting at the back with everyone or maybe you’re late to your lectures. Whatever the reason for not sitting close to the front row make it a goal. If possible give yourself enough time to travel and make it on time for each lesson. What this does for you, is focus, when you make it your aim to sit in the front you maintain a singular focus on your lecturer and also you hear more. You avoid the temptation to gossip at the back and pay more attention. The aim of attending each lecture is to make sure you benefit fully from your lessons and have the best chance of completing your education in the time frame or the duration of that course without repeating.

In conclusion we have all agreed that weekly lectures can be boring, however we understand that this does not need to be the case as we have the power to change this by first of all preparing for the lecture by reading the resources provided prior to the lesson. Paying attention and drawing out references and personal examples from the lecture to enhance learning, taking notes or sometimes writing word for word what is being said helps to make sense of the course. Asking appropriate related questions for clarity helps to answer or clarify doubts or misunderstandings. And finally sitting at the front to avoid distractions can help one reap more benefits from the lecture.



Written By Shereena Badu




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