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Learning in Business

Learning in lectures

Lectures have a number of useful goals which can really help you in your learning within units. For example, lectures are useful for:

  • gathering information and ideas about the relevant topics
  • providing a common ground for further discussion in other learning situations (like tutorials)
  • giving you a starting point for private study
  • providing a consolidation of the main ideas from recent research
  • giving you practical examples and applications related to theories you are learning
  • giving you a model of how an expert approaches a particular topic
  • hearing about advances in research which have not yet been published
  • hearing important announcements about the unit
  • motivating you and encouraging you on how best to learn and complete assessments .
  • giving you an opportunity to hear an interpretation of a topic that you have been reading about or discussing

In many units of study, the lectures provide a basic framework and a starting point for student learning. It is really important that you try to make lectures a comfortable learning environment in lectures for both yourself and other students , by being friendly and not using lectures as a place for chatting with friends. If another student does not respect your right to this sort of a learning environment, do not be afraid to speak out and remind them of their responsibilities.

Learning in Large Groups

One aspect of lectures that you might find quite challenging when you first get to university is that lecturers often have several hundred students going to each one. It can be difficult to learn in such a situation, especially when you might be used to being in a class of less than 30 students, and being able to ask the teacher a question any time you feel like it. Because there are so many students, lecturers teaching large classes may ask students to discuss a problem with the person sitting next to them. It is well worth taking the opportunity to learn from somebody else.

In addition, lecturers are likely to use videos and PowerPoint presentations in class, supported by online material and discussion boards which can be accessed out of class, to promote your learning and sense of community.

Learning in Tutorials

In most units of study in the Business School, tutorials are provided to complement lectures. Tutorials offer many benefits for learning, including:

  • discussion of issues arising from the lectures and associated readings
  • enabling a topic to be understood more deeply and with greater clarity
  • providing an opportunity for students to test their ideas and hear and comment on those of others
  • encouraging intellectual relationships to develop between students and between students and staff

However, tutorials can be less beneficial if students:

  • do not prepare for the tutorial
  • continually move away from the topic of the tutorial
  • refuse to volunteer good ideas and contribute to the discussion, and simply sit in silence .
  • try to dominate the discussion and don't allow others to express their point of view
  • draw attention to themselves by making smart remarks.

You should try to be an active and helpful member of any tutorial group you are involved with to make sure that you are making a positive contribution both to your own learning as well as that of other students.

One aspect of tutorials you might find difficult to adjust to is having to give a presentation during class. Normally this involves you (or you as part of a small group of people) preparing something for the whole class. This could be a formal presentation, a debate, a role-playing activity, or other types of informal presentations. Take advantage of any presentation tips provided in lectures, online, or by your tutor.

Learning at the Business School