Following lectures and taking notes

Lectures are intended to support learning. You should prepare for them, for example, by getting acquainted with the accompanying material in advance or by taking a look at the topics of the previous and next lecture.

You should also speak up and ask if something remains unclear during the lecture. You also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of teaching by providing feedback on the course.

In terms of learning, it is often most effective to take notes on what you hear. At the beginning of your studies, taking lecture notes may be difficult, but you will learn your own style quickly. Teachers often create lecture handouts or outlines that make it easier to follow the teaching and take notes.

Other teaching and study methods

In addition to traditional lectures, university teaching includes many other teaching and study methods, such as group and seminar work and e-learning. The goal of group teaching is to get students to discuss: to share their observations, experiences, thoughts and feelings. Discussion is explaining, asking, listening and answering. The aim of the discussion is to arouse thinking, reasoning, evaluation and solution of problems, and to help structure the subject matter.

During studies, situations arise where it is required to present the produced material to fellow students or other target groups. Presentation skills, i.e. speaking, speech rhythm, volume, gestures, postures and the use of aids, should be practiced in order to present a subject naturally and clearly to the audience.

Further information

  • The Academic Skills section of the University of Jyväskylä's Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication website contains e.g. information on what an active listener should know as well as tips for taking notes.