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what happens in lectures/seminars?

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    Im starting uni in September and im pretty nervous about the whole lecture/seminar thing.

    What happens in them?
    what do I need to take such as will i need a laptop etc?
    How long do they usually last etc?

    Just anything people can tell me really would be good
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    (Original post by kunoichi)
    Im starting uni in September and im pretty nervous about the whole lecture/seminar thing.

    What happens in them?
    what do I need to take such as will i need a laptop etc?
    How long do they usually last etc?

    Just anything people can tell me really would be good
    Lectures are really simple; you take a seat in one of those rooms that looks vaguely like a cinema/theatre and just listen, as well as take notes, you don't have to do anything else. Most people prefer pen and paper, some people use laptops if they feel they write quicker that way. The majority of people who use laptops in lectures I assume actually have them to alleviate boredom (browsing Facebook/Twitter on the wifi). You don't even have to take notes if you don't want to, around half the people usually turn up with nothing and just sit and listen. Lectures are always an hour or two hours; my university seems to have a preference for 2 hour lectures (which have a 10 minute break in the middle). There's always a powerpoint to look at.

    Seminars are a little more variable. Some take place in rooms arranged like school/college classrooms, others will be in lecturer's offices, some can take place in lecture theatres. It really depends on the lecturer; during my undergrad degree I had one lecturer who used to treat them as if they were lectures and would just talk to us for a hour; some lecturers use them to make the students give practice lectures to the rest of the class; the more standard procedure however is that in advance you're all given a list of book chapters or academic papers to read and then you all come together, sit in a circle and discuss your opinions on the subject. Every seminar I've had lasted an hour.

    As an aside, there is nothing worse than being the only person to turn up for a seminar (it does happen; to me personally 2 or 3 times :nothing:) because if you are, prepare for your lecturer to give you an hour's grilling. From an objective perspective I suppose it is quite funny for a lecturer - often a very highly respected world expert in their chosen field - to one-on-one wipe the floor with an undergrad, but it's never funny when you are the undergrad.

    Lectures are the standard method of teaching and you'll have around 10 a week (for a period of roughly 15 weeks, then Christmas, then roughly another 15 weeks). Seminars are a bit rarer, I had just a couple in my first year, increasing to about 10 in my second year and about 15 in my third year. Of course this will vary though by course/university.
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    (Original post by Craig_D)
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    Thank you that's great, know a bit more about what to expect now
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    (Original post by kunoichi)
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    (Original post by Craig_D)
    Seminars are a little more variable. Some take place in rooms arranged like school/college classrooms, others will be in lecturer's offices, some can take place in lecture theatres.
    I agree with everything you said, very good advice. Just one addition, a few of mine were in computer labs even though my course isn't computer based. It tended to just be towards the end of the year for producing revision materials though. Again, it depends on the course, the structure, the staff etc. but I thought it was a slight addition
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    Most people in my lectures use laptops for Fb, etc and don't make many notes. The rest have genuine reasons like dysphraxia (no idea how to spell that) or unintelligible handwriting.

    Seminars are a must, and nearly always registered but lectures aren't always registered, it depends on the uni and course. I'd advise you don't take laptops to seminars (often it's in a small room and you'll take up a lot of space with something unnecessary anyway. I wouldn't take laptops to lectures either. Mainly because a lot of people don't have insurance that covers their stuff when it isn't in their room so if it is lost / broken / stolen then tough ****. But also because it's easier to just take notes the old-fashioned way, and because you don't get distracted so much. You'll have enough free time that you will be able to go on Fb after your lecture and like your friends photos or untag ugly pictures. But Craig_D kinda answered the question as best as could be done. So there isn't much else to say...
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    (Original post by minimarshmallow)
    I agree with everything you said, very good advice. Just one addition, a few of mine were in computer labs even though my course isn't computer based. It tended to just be towards the end of the year for producing revision materials though. Again, it depends on the course, the structure, the staff etc. but I thought it was a slight addition
    Yeah that's a very good point, I forgot that aspect; my experience was that of a humanities student, so that would have to be taken into account.

    For the OP, an example of how dependant the finer details are on your choice of course; I had 2 practicals in a computer room (one on statistics and one on carbon dating), and a couple in a bioarchaeological lab, looking at bones and so on. In addition to that, a few handling sessions looking at artefacts, like pottery/coins.
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    Shuffle in
    Collect handouts
    Find a seat
    Try my darndest to pay attention (sometimes fail)
    Make notes on the back of the handouts
    Leave
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    A guy talks to you while you surf the internet on your laptop and then you skim over what the guy said to you later on because all the notes are on Blackboard.

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