I asked you guys on Instagram (@lucydoeslaw) for any blogs that you’d like to see, and this one was highly requested! This is based on the way that Exeter Law School has structured their timetable but I’m sure the way I prepare will translate across universities and degrees!
1 – PRE-READING
Before my lectures, I always make sure I have done the pre-reading. I know a lot of people who actually prefer to do the reading after the lecture, but I think doing it before hand will really help maximise engagement. My lectures are only 55ish minutes long, and I have one lecture per module per week. This is not a lot of time!! Therefore, the time that is spend in the theatre requires a high level of engagement in order to take the most away.
Doing reading in advance will give you a base level of knowledge to work with, so when the professor starts to add their opinion, you have an idea what they are going on about and can critically think about how this adds to the reading you have already done – maximising your productivity.
2 – LECTURE SLIDES
If they are available for you, take a look at the lecture slides ahead of the lecture. This way you can spot any areas you’re still uncertain of after the reading so you know what to really listen out for in the lecture. If it helps, star or highlight the bit you’re not sure about in advance so when you get to that slide, you’re alerted to keep focussed!
It’s a waste of time spending the lecture copying down word for word what’s already written on the slides, because it’s already written for you! To ensure that I’m maximising productivity in the lecture, I print off the lecture in advance with about 3 slides per page and lines running alongside each one to make notes on (see image above), then I can make sure I’m writing down the additional information that the professor is saying. What would be the point in attending the lecture if you’re just going to copy the slides in the same way you could do at home!?
3 – QUESTION LIST
Once you’ve done the reading and had a look at the lecture slides, there still may be some areas that you still really don’t have a clue about (me the whole year in Contract Law). What I’ve found really helpful in this situation is writing a list of questions on a notecard. You can bring this notecard to the lecture, if your questions are still unanswered, you could ask the lecturer at the end. Or alternatively if there’s no time to do this, you can bring the card to your syndicates/seminars and get the answers there! And if you’re STILL stuck, you can always go and see a professor in their office hours or send them an email.
So that’s how I prep for my lectures, I would love to hear how you prep for yours in the comment box down below!