Learning by Listening
The responsibility for developing interest and understanding is yours. Be an active listener and get the most out of attending lecture. Concentrate on what the speaker is saying. Sit where you can see and hear the speaker easily and where other distractions are at a minimum.
Determine why what the speaker is saying is important to you. If you don't have an immediate, vivid reason for listening to a speaker, you are an unmotivated listener. Practice the habit of paying attention.
Prepare to get the most out of lecture by reviewing the important points from the previous lecture. Preview the assigned readings to establish some background knowledge. Determine what you know and do not know about the material in order to focus your listening as an opportunity for learning.
Listen for the pattern of organization in lecture. Does it begin or end with a brief summary of the main concepts, themes, or ideas? How are details or examples used to develop specific points? What is the relationship between the points presented?
What is the structural format? Outline? Comparative analysis? Main idea, background information, supporting points? Inductive or deductive reasoning?
Ask yourself: What questions does this lecture answer? What are possible midterm questions that information from lectures could be used to answer? What is the relationship between the lectures and the readings?
Not everything is equally important in lecture. Hold yourself accountable for being selective and differentiating between levels of importance. Organize your notetaking as a way to review, test your understanding of ideas, and prepare for exams.