No doubt you have been to a couple of lectures already, or you might even be thinking of what you could expect from your lectures when you actually go to university later on. Either way, you will want to ensure that you are going to get the most out of any lectures you attend.
Lectures are one of the most important tools that you can have whilst at university. Professors and lecturers have learnt all of the information that they are teaching you and have picked out the most helpful and useful resources that will aid you in the completion of your course - and ultimately your degree/graduation. Therefore, they are a real starting block to allow you to gain instant knowledge of theories and subject areas that will help you later in writing papers and studying for exams.
The key point in any academic lecture is to listen to all information given to you and to be organised, and this comes in 3 stages:
You will need to plan what you want to get out of the lecture - maybe you haven't a clue what this Maslow hierarchy of Needs is, but have read a lot of authors referring to it and this lecture is focussed exactly on that.
See how the lecture fits into your course and how you can use the information to help you progress in different papers and exams.
Look into what you already know about the topic of the lecture - can you bring some opinions or question a lecture on their understanding of different theories and concepts?
This is the most important aspect of the whole lecture learning process.
You will need to understand the main points of the lecture, whether this is relating to scholars, theorists and/or theories.
Is the lecturer providing any clues about the topic, idea generation and why this particular lecture is important to yourself and your classmates.
Is the lecture informative and does it follow a set structure, could it be said to to analytical of facts and opinions and summarise the concepts as a whole.
Are there any many practical applications or theories or paradigms that you should remember from the lecture - generally a lecturer will focus on these a little more than other parts of the lecture.
You should quickly draw a mind-map or spider diagram of what you remember about the lecture, just let your memory fill the paper with ideas and understanding.
You will also want to write a list of further questions that you will want to answer from the information that has been covered in the lecture.
If you don't understand any parts of the lecture that were delivered (and there should be at least some), then write these down. You can, at a later stage, take a look at a chapter from the recommended text to read or ask your lecturer for further explanation on these areas.
Being organised whilst at university means being in possession of the right equipment, and although this sound quite obvious, many students forget to bring a pen, paper, high-lighters, a pencil and stapler/hole punch. You want to organise any material that is given to you (as there will probably be a lot) and losing any part of the material - or not knowing which was with what lecture can be very frustrating and time consuming to sort.
The main principal behind taking notes id that you will look over them in the future and refine them in order to learn, otherwise why in the hell would you take notes in class?
You could develop your own way of certain highlighted parts of a document with a different colour to emphasize importance of keys points. You could also type your notes up after a lecture is this will increase the intake and learning of the information you have listened to.
The main point here is to prepare, organise and finalize your lecture notes.
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