Lectures can be dreadful, when not prepared and with a poor lecturer. But lectures can also be of much help for the students if they know how to listen effectively and if they are prepared. Here are some facts about how to listen effectively.
At university, a lot of information will be passed from the teacher to the students. Some information is more important than other information. Taking notes on what is really important is a vital learning technique that will help you to get through classes.
Let other worries be at rest when entering class. Keep a ”here-and-now”-perspective and focus on the teacher at all times. Social interaction can take place on other times. Get to class on time and be prepared for the lecture of the day. If you have studied the literature you are supposed to, you will find it much easier to pick up the important parts of the lecture.
Open mind and engagement
Keep an open mind during class. If there is something you do not understand, do not be afraid of asking questions. The things you understand, you can also remember. Active listening is all about asking questions and participating in any discussions started. Do it in a positive way, and search for understanding.
Do not be afraid or worried. That will only cloud your mind. The same goes with prejudgements. Try to leave those outside the classroom. Review what you know on the subject before entering class.
It is much easier to listen and remember what has been said when the topic is interesting. In order to get interested, you can use some easy mental training. You decide what you feel is interesting. It is your choice.
Keep the mind focused and get yourself set on the aim of the course. Do not hang around people telling you a teacher is boring or a class is boring. That will only influence your mindset negatively. Connect with people who think that the class is interesting to keep your motivation.
Look for meaning
It is no use trying to figure out certain words from the teacher. Instead, a good listener searches for meaning of the spoken words. Listeners often look for facts. That is not the deal with good listeners. Good listeners focus on the main ideas, the concepts and the vital issues. Facts are just details at university lectures, ideas and concepts the core of knowledge.
Adjust the note taking
The note taking of the class depends on the topic discussed, on the teacher and on your pre-knowledge of the subject. If you are new to a subject, more substantial notes have to be taken than if you know a subject well. List what is important for your understanding, and try to grasp the concepts of the lecture.