Quite a few core courses in various faculties still rely on the
lecture and tutorial delivery format. This article aims to help
you cope with lectures/large classes when your sign up for such
With the campus-wide shift in emphasis from the teaching to the
learning mode, how lectures and tutorials are conducted has changed.
For instance, course coordinators are likely to assign a large amount
of articles for students to read and do some self-learning prior
to each lecture. Thus, my first advice to you is: do your
homework. Read what you are supposed to read before you
come for lectures or tutorials. Doing so will certainly enhance
your learning as concepts raised in class will already be familiar
to you. You can then use classroom time to re-affirm your knowledge
of key concepts found in the readings, reinforce what you have learnt
previously and clarify any doubts.
Second, do not be shy to ask questions. If you
have done your preparation by reading all the assigned readings,
you would be equipped to understand some of the key topics discussed
in the lecture. But if you do not understand any of the readings
or what the lecturer is talking about, do not feel bad to ask the
lecturer to re-explain certain things, especially when the explanation
was not quite clear in the first instance. For many students, asking
questions during a large class can be quite a challenge because
they fear that the instructor will categorise their questions as
‘stupid’. On the contrary, by overcoming this fear and
daring to ask questions that come into your mind, you will certainly
help to make the class more interesting.
Third, contribute answers when your lecturer
grants you the opportunity to do so in the lecture theatre. In this
way, you can have your doubts clarified and uncertainties resolved.
At the same time, your lecturer will be more than glad to have someone
answer his or her questions and make the class more interactive.
Fourth, check with the lecturer in private if
you have further reservations concerning the lecture materials.
This can be done via email, telephone, personal consultation or
online course discussion forums such as the Integrated Virtual Learning
Environment Discussion (IVLE) Forum. Your lecturer will most likely
be impressed that you are thinking about the topic and are willing
to engage in discussion outside of formal class time.
Fifth, clear all your doubts with the lecturer on a regular
basis instead of leaving all these questions until the
very end of the semester. As many of the topics taught in a course
are intertwined, any delay in clarifying doubts regarding lessons
taught early in the semester will lead to sub-par understanding
of materials covered subsequently.
Finally, try your very best to refrain from talking in
class while the lecture is going on. This distracts the
lecturer as well as disturbs your fellow students seated near you.
If you really do find some lectures rather boring, it might be better
for you to miss the lecture altogether, rather than turn up for
class only to chitchat with your friends while the lecture is going