College students, especially freshmen, will likely be taken off-guard by how different college lectures are when compared to school. College lectures often take place in large halls big enough to fit hundreds of students in at one time. At the front of the class will be the lecturer, the individual that teaches you what you need to know. Throughout larger lectures, you will not be given the personal tuition that you feel you need. Therefore, it is important to always be prepared and ask yourself questions to ensure that you learn to your fullest potential. Here is a guide to success that will allow you to get the most out of a large class lecture.
Take notes as the lecturer goes along
The lecturer, for the most part, will simply use their knowledge to teach you. They will likely have a board at the front beside them where they will write things down. They will stand at the front and simply speak to you, teaching you things that you must learn from. However, due to the fact that you are not receiving personal tuition directly, you will, for the most part, be unable to ask questions. This is where the sheer importance of listening and taking notes comes into play.
A great way to set out your note taking is in bullet point form. From start to finish, bullet point anything important that the lecturer says. Using this method, you can take your notes away and research and revise anything you do not understand which will greatly aid the learning process. Come prepared to take notes. This can mean anything from having a pen, pencil and paper or simply a laptop or smartphone to make memos and word documents to take notes. This will save you typing them up later.
Become an active contributor to the lecture
The lecturer will try to get the students involved in the learning process. This could be anything from asking questions or encouraging people to come up to the board and demonstrate their knowledge or what they have learned. A great way to make the most out of these larger, non-personal lectures is to actively participate whenever possible. This can be anything from putting your hand up to answer questions or volunteering yourself to go to the front and talk about something or write something.
Becoming an active contributor and participator in larger, group lecturers does not come without its benefits. It gives you the option to make mistakes; mistakes of course being essential to learning. You have to make mistakes and get things wrong in order to get them right next time, so never be afraid to participate. It also allows you to develop a relationship with your lecturer so that they get to know you a bit better. In knowing you and seeing that you actively contribute and participate, they will likely be much more willing to help you with your studies. It is better to become known than to be just another face in the crowd.
Avoid messing around and socializing
As a college student, you will have all the time in the world to attend parties, go out drinking and have a good time. Socializing has no place within the educational environment. Ensure that you are constantly listening and paying attention to the lecturer. Avoid the temptation of getting distracted by your friends. The lecturer is at the front of the class sometimes only a few times a week, meaning you may only have one chance to learn what they are telling you. Do not waste that opportunity by not paying attention.
There are plenty of times to socialize with friends outside of a lecture, so simply avoid socializing during a lecture in order to make the most of it. Larger lectures are difficult enough to learn from as it is due to the fact that they are not personal and are delivered to a large audience rather than individually. Everyone has different learning barriers, strengths and weaknesses. You are not going to prosper if you are sitting at the back having fun and not doing the work. Simply discipline yourself to resist temptation to play around and socialize; save that for out of lecture time and treat the lecture itself with the utmost importance because they can and will positively impact your educational experience and your entire future if you use them correctly.
Larger lecturers may seem incredibly difficult to benefit from for many college students, but the facilities are all there simply to aid your learning experience. You have to make an effort too if your are going to prosper from larger lectures so ensure you put a decent amount of effort in too in order to make the most of them. Use the tips featured in the guide above to maximize what you take away from each and every lecture no matter how large or small they may be.