Holmstock
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How is it working at the moment? I went to uni in the 70s, so I am badly out of date, and my child has applied to start in Sept 21.

We had lectures, and the occasional missed lecture could be caught up from other's notes. Textbooks were not usually helpful (the recommended ones were usually only available at the library in four or five copies, which did not stretch far across the 80 the on the course), and often the recommendation applied to perhaps just a page or two of the textbook.

Worked examples set at the beginning of the week and talked through in seminars were useful to address the syllabus, but seemed only tangential to the lectures, so really the only way to make inroads was to discuss with peers.

My child's teachers at college are very ready to discuss bumps in uinderstanding the syllabus, but the support does not seem to be needed often since the textbooks are very comprehensive and there are plenty of worked examples online.

How are current students getting to grips with their university syllabus? Has it been harder this year in lockdown, or are the online resources actually making it easier?
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by Holmstock)
How is it working at the moment? I went to uni in the 70s, so I am badly out of date, and my child has applied to start in Sept 21.

We had lectures, and the occasional missed lecture could be caught up from other's notes. Textbooks were not usually helpful (the recommended ones were usually only available at the library in four or five copies, which did not stretch far across the 80 the on the course), and often the recommendation applied to perhaps just a page or two of the textbook.

Worked examples set at the beginning of the week and talked through in seminars were useful to address the syllabus, but seemed only tangential to the lectures, so really the only way to make inroads was to discuss with peers.

My child's teachers at college are very ready to discuss bumps in uinderstanding the syllabus, but the support does not seem to be needed often since the textbooks are very comprehensive and there are plenty of worked examples online.

How are current students getting to grips with their university syllabus? Has it been harder this year in lockdown, or are the online resources actually making it easier?
Hi Holmstock,

Obviously this will vary quite a bit between universities and even different modules at the same university, but I have found this year in lockdown to be better in some ways and worse in others.

Before covid I would have multiple hours of lectures a week with some problem classes where I could ask PhD students for help with topics I didn't understand. It was great to have that schedule and the face-to-face contact that made it feel worth it to go to (almost) very lecture. Like you said was the case in the 70s, if a lecture was missed it could be quite easily caught up on as most lecturers have extensive course notes for the module.

Now though, all my lectures are recorded and put online so I can watch them any time I want. This means sticking to a schedule has been harder but it also means I haven't missed any lectures and I can also pause and replay things if I misunderstood parts. Also, at Southampton University, the lecturers have been great at supporting us online. There are multiple live catch up sessions each week and emails are being responded to extremely promptly. In my opinion, lockdown hasn't really affected my learning and understanding of material but rather has had a much greater effect in other areas of university life, such as socializing, sticking to a good schedule and feeling part of the physics community. Maybe for a first year student living in halls socializing and feeling part of a student community is a different story.

Megan
4th year physics student
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Holmstock
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi Holmstock,

Obviously this will vary quite a bit between universities and even different modules at the same university, but I have found this year in lockdown to be better in some ways and worse in others.

Before covid I would have multiple hours of lectures a week with some problem classes where I could ask PhD students for help with topics I didn't understand. It was great to have that schedule and the face-to-face contact that made it feel worth it to go to (almost) very lecture. Like you said was the case in the 70s, if a lecture was missed it could be quite easily caught up on as most lecturers have extensive course notes for the module.

Now though, all my lectures are recorded and put online so I can watch them any time I want. This means sticking to a schedule has been harder but it also means I haven't missed any lectures and I can also pause and replay things if I misunderstood parts. Also, at Southampton University, the lecturers have been great at supporting us online. There are multiple live catch up sessions each week and emails are being responded to extremely promptly. In my opinion, lockdown hasn't really affected my learning and understanding of material but rather has had a much greater effect in other areas of university life, such as socializing, sticking to a good schedule and feeling part of the physics community. Maybe for a first year student living in halls socializing and feeling part of a student community is a different story.

Megan
4th year physics student
Hi Megan ,

Thank you very much for your detailed and thoughtful reply, it is very useful.

All the best
Holmstock
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