I’m going back to uni at the end of the month and as I’m going back to off-campus study, I miss out on alot of in class opportunities. But then I remember what I hated about in class learning. So I have a few tips for people who are going back, or who are still studying. Just some things that you may do that you may not realise, frankly, piss other people off.
- Don’t try to have a lengthy conversation with your lecturer during the lecture if it’s something specific to you or a minority of students. If it’s not relevant to the majority, discuss it in your own time.
- Don’t talk about your kids if the example is not directly relevant. Most people in lectures are going to be 18 – 22. They probably won’t care about your kids.
- If the lecturer/tutor asks “Any Questions?” it’s not an invitation to sprout off something irrelevant, especially if it doesn’t even involve a question.
- If you make a statement and the teacher says that you’re wrong, don’t argue or ask it in another way because the answer will still be wrong. Believe them. They already have their degree. You don’t.
There was one specific example of something that really annoyed me when I started my Masters in Counselling. Now I started this 6 months after I finished my bachelor, so I, along with alot of others in my class, knew how to write and structure essays. We also knew how many references were required for a good mark and the knowledge needed to write assignments.
What I didn’t count on was spending hours listening to the tutor answer questions about how to do those things. Most, if not all uni’s will provide workshops in the library for students who want to learn these things.
So here’s my advice.
If you don’t know how to do those things, and it’s perfectly fine if you don’t, ask in your own time. Or attend the workshops. Most students in Masters and all in Post Grad classes have been students, they don’t need to listen to this information and again, it’s waste’s time for them.
(this advice is to be discarded if you are an undergraduate. However if you’re 2nd year or beyond, you might want to think about why, after a year of studying, you’re still asking these questions.)
I, in one class actually walked out because we spent the previous class (3 hours in length) discussing how to write an essay and then the next class (also 3 hours) on how to reference. What a waste of time!
Never mind that myself and another girl traveled 1.5 hours each way to get to uni, but we were discussing things that we were taught in first year, 5 years ago. I ended up not attending the rest of the classes (something I had discussed with the teacher) and the next semester, became on off-campus student. Best decision of my life.
So please be conscious of others. I know there is the saying of “if you’re thinking of a question, ask it because there will be someone else thinking it.” But if it’s a question that is more for your benefit rather than the benefit of the class, ask in your own time. Because if one person doesn’t care, chances are there are others who don’t either. And yes, I am aware that classes have an allocated time, but if you spend 1 hour talking about something that most of the class is already aware of, when you could have covered the material and left an hour early, that’s an hour where someone could have been putting their kids to bed, or make a family occasion, or get to work on time.