Evidence shows that those students who attend all lectures and actively engage are more successful than those who don't.
How should you prepare for lectures?
1. Familiarise yourself with your module handbooks. These contain important information such as learning outcomes and assessment guidelines, which will help you to put lectures into context and target your note taking.
2. Use Blackboard, where you can find the vital information and materials relating to your programme of study and modules.
3. Develop your skills. Read in advance of the lecture and create a list of possible questions you would like to be able to answer about the topic. This will help you to focus in the lecture, participate more critically and deepen your understanding of the topic. Be organised, and develop effective note taking skills.
4. Adopt an active listening approach. This will help you to deal with new and challenging information more effectively. If you are questioning, selecting and summarising spoken information you will be actively involved in the lecture. In order to do this effectively, preparation is key in order that you can begin to contextualise the information provided in the lecture and engage with it more fully (rather than try to simply absorb it like a sponge).
5. Make connections with previous learning. Where you read or hear new terminology relevant to the topic(s) you are studying, make a note of it, and as you identify key theorists and/or arguments record these too. This will help you not only to make more sense of lectures and make more useful notes, but also help you to make critical links as you move forward.
This type of preparation will save you time in the long run as well as help you to aim for higher marks, as it will help you to have a greater understanding of the subject.