In a digitally-orientated world, many students wonder why they still need to attend lectures.
After all, aren’t they only really needed in person so that the lecturer can tick their names off on the attendance register so they gain entrance to the exam? Some students don’t see the use of sitting in a lecture when all they need is the textbook, Google and the past exam papers.
I would like to argue that being properly prepared for lectures and making the most of your time during lectures can help you to be a more successful student.
Here are some tips for making classroom time work for you:
- Preparation for lectures really starts the day before.
You start preparing for your lecture when you are packing your notebook, checking that your assessments / tasks have been completed, and generally getting ready for the day ahead. It allows you the opportunity to refresh your memory on the work that you covered in the last lecture. You may even have jotted down some questions that you would like to ask your lecturer in your notebook.
- Listen for clues while your lecturer is talking.
While in class, your lecturer can provide you with some very important information and make it easier to distinguish between ‘interesting’ information and relevant information. Listen in particular to phrases like: ‘It is important to note . . . ’, ‘Now listen closely . . . ‘For the exam, you need to know . . .’. Make notes or highlight the information that the lecturer is referring to when making these statements. This will help you when you are studying and preparing for the exam.
- Take notes.
While the lecturer is discussing the work, make note of interesting / important information. Use the clue phrases discussed above to distinguish important information, and ask questions when you don’t understand. If you want to improve your note-taking skills follow this link: www.takingnotes.oxford.co.za
- Be respectful.
While in the classroom, whether you are very interested in that particular lecture or not, be respectful of the other students in the class and their right to have the best classroom experience. Do not disrupt the class by taking calls, talking to your friends or making a noise.
The classroom is a great opportunity for you to connect with fellow students and to engage with the content. It is the perfect opportunity for you to develop a greater understanding of your subject field.
Here is a link to Oxford University Press Southern Africa’s TVET poster on Succeeding in the classroom: https://bit.ly/1Tm575O
Yolandi Farham, TVET Publisher, Oxford University Press Southern Africa