There are some simple things you can do to enhance your learning, improve your skills and get the most out of your tertiary studies.
Participate in tutorials
Getting involved can help you develop your understanding of the course material and allow you to feel more confident when faced with an assignment. Try the following:
- Prepare by completing the prescribed readings and/or assignments.
- Go to the tutorial with a positive attitude towards the subject.
- Listen to what is being said.
- Show interest in what others have to say.
- Contribute to the discussion.
- Take notes during your tutorials.
Get the most out of lectures
Practice active listening
- sit front and centre
- ask questions and engage with the topic
- associate new ideas and concepts with what you already know
- evaluate the content and decide what you did and didn't understand
- take notes
- be tolerant of delivery styles
A little preparation can help you get more from your lectures.
- Preliminary reading—you may not have time to read all of the recommended readings before the lecture, but try a ten or fifteen minute overview. Skim and scan the text and jot down concepts and ideas. Take note of diagrams and graphs.
- Skim the lecture notes before the lecture.
- Look over lecture notes from the previous week.
There is no one method of taking effective notes in lectures that will work for everyone. What may work for one student may be totally inappropriate for another. However, the important thing is that you do take some notes. It helps you focus during the lecture and makes revision easier.
Unless you follow up on the lecture notes within 24 hours about 40–50% of the lecture will be forgotten. The following within 24 hours of the lecture can help you distribute learning over time and store information in long term memory.
- Talk to someone about the lecture.
- Review your notes.
- Add to your notes from your text if you missed any points.
- Identify areas of content which you do not understand and seek help or conduct further study to clarify.
- Recite the main points.
- Write a summary of your notes.
If a question occurs to you, ask your tutor or lecturer as soon as possible.
Read your course material
Read your course material carefully as this can help you to understand what is expected of you. The lecture series and weekly readings are usually outlined in the course outline, as are important dates and assessment information.
Ask for help if you need it
If you are experiencing difficulties, don't be afraid to speak up. Questions, feedback and discussion are an important part of the learning process. University is supposed to be challenging but you need never struggle alone. Ask a friend or another student for advice, speak with your tutor or lecturer or contact an academic skills or peer adviser and arrange for a free consultation.
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