Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsSo what is the key to good preparation? For instance, in my courses, I deal with theories and definitions.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsAnd a good preparation would be: learn all the definitions by heart. And this means old-fashioned memorisation. Read a definition. Read it out loud. Write it on a piece of paper. Make a summary that you read at least once every day. And in this way you have a much better preparation for your lectures. And in this way you get so much more out of your lectures. So why should you prepare for my class? If you come to my class prepared, you will have a much better guarantee that the abstract and complex material that I will try to teach you will sink in. After the lecture, it is essential that you study in an active manner.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsJust reading the book or the lecture slides is not sufficient. Try to study examples, counter examples. And the best way to study is create wrong problems and try to solve them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsWell, what I always tell students is to look for material online, to not just focus on the lecture, on the scientific content of the lecture, but to use the internet to get a better understanding through non-academic material, through non-theoretical material. Think of YouTube videos or think of a TED talk, for instance. There are plenty online these days. I also see that in the students. So I've given a course where we dealt with youth unemployment, for instance. And I could see that those students who went online afterwards and looked through the OECD reports on youth unemployment in different countries, for instance, they gained higher scores.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsSo this busying yourself with the lecture topic but using non-academic sources, I think that really bolsters learning. And I've started to support those students who may have difficulties finding those sources themselves. I've started to put these, such sources and links to websites or to TED Talks, in this study guides as well and hope to support the students through that. So how can you get the most out of your lecture? Three pointers for you. First one, be there. Second, take notes. Third, engage. Let's talk about the first, be there. Make sure to show up at your lectures, regardless of whether they're compulsory or not. You have absolutely nothing to lose but only to gain.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsBesides, however, being physically there, make sure to retain your focus and to pay attention to the lectures. Second pointer, keep notes. It is extremely valuable both for processing information that you've just acquired, as well as revising later on for your exams. Third pointer, engage. Most people think that teaching is a one-way process. However, students, they're a very important part of this process. So make sure to engage with the debate in class, respond to questions by your lecturer, as well as raise your own questions. Many students feel insecure about asking stupid questions. There is no such thing as stupid questions. The moment you raise a question, it means that you own the learning process, and you are learning effectively.

Lecturers on getting the most out of lectures

In this video three lecturers will give you useful tips on how you as a learner can get the most out of their lectures. They give advice about the preparation of lectures, attending the lectures, and what to do after the lectures.

These are the most important tips about attending lectures in a row:

Before the lecture:

  • Write down questions about the topic (before the lecture)
  • When you have to deal with definitions, learn them all by heart
  • Make a summary that you read at least once every day
  • During the lecture:

  • Arrive early, so you can sit in one of the front rows in the lecture hall
  • Make notes, using the Topic Comment method. It helps processing the information that you acquire, and you also create revision material for your exams.
  • Engage! Teachings is not a one way process, so respond to the lecturer and bring on your own questions
  • After the lecture:

  • Study in an active matter. Try to study examples, think of counter examples; create and solve your own problems; Revise your notes and/or discuss them with classmates
  • Look online, also look for non-academic sources. So busying yourself with the lecure topic.
  • Which tip would be the most useful in your current study program? And do you have tips of your own? Please share!

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    This video is from the free online course:

    Improving Your Study Techniques

    University of Groningen

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