By Mike Hanski:
Many professors say it: “You won’t pass the exam if you don’t attend lectures!”
Most students don’t like lectures. With so many classes involving lecturing, students find it difficult to focus on what professors are saying. Traditional lectures get them bored, tired, and impatient.
And that’s a big problem because a traditional lecture remains one of the most common teaching methods for professors from all over the world because of its #1 advantage: it allows them to reach many students in one time slot.
The problem of students’ boredom at lectures disturbs many educators, as they want to see positive results of their work and know what they can do to change root and branch of the situation. Back in 2009, a senior lecturer from the University of Central Lancashire, Dr. Sandi Mann, together with his colleague, Andrew Robinson, published the study of student boredom suggesting that 60% of students find a half of their lectures boring and 30% consider all their lectures boring.
When asked what they did to cope with boring lectures, 75% of students named daydreaming, 66% chose to doodle, 50% chatted or sent text messages and 38% passed notes to friends. 25% of students left the lecture at the mid-session break. None of these strategies seems beneficial, and it leads to nothing but a waste of time.
When you are a college student with tons of assignments to accomplish, dozens of exams to pass, and crazy campus life to survive, you need to do something with those boring lectures making your life miserable. The issue seems so burning that students even brought it up at Quora where their peers shared practical suggestions on the subject.
As is evident from the foregoing, many students value their time and do something useful for their education and self-development during boring lectures.
The options are numerous:
1) Ask Questions: Participating in class, you speed up time and engage with the subject. You can find some studies or news articles on it beforehand to see if you have something to ask a professor on the topic. Moreover, it could be interesting for your peers, too.
2) Concentrate on the Subject: Focus on the subject, not the speaker. Your professor might speak with a monotonous voice, which makes you bored, but try thinking of him as if he was a computer reading you something. Concentrate on the subject and focus on the information. This trick helps to limit boredom and distraction.
3) Do Your Homework: Use this time to work on your homework and writing assignments. Boring lectures can be the best time to think about essay topics, do research, create outlines, write a draft, review notes, etc. If super smart, you can write essays and papers for other students, too.
4) Re-Write: Use boring lectures to re-write notes from other hard classes.
5) Read: If the lecture is boring, it doesn’t mean the subject is boring too. Get the textbook and read it, learning the information by your own.
6) Complete Your Reports: Boring lectures can be the best place to finish lab reports or complete notes from classes you’ve missed. Ask your friends for notes and complete yours.
7) Unleash Creativity: Don’t think of boring lectures being a waste of time. Use this time for something creative you enjoy doing: make cartoons, design websites, write lyrics or even start writing a novel, whatever. Why not, after all? And if you don’t want to listen to the lecture right here and now, record it to do it later. Luckily, many voice recording applications are free to download.
8) Write It Down: Don’t make boring lectures an excuse to avoid classes. When bored, just sit near the front and write everything down. When you take notes, you give your brain a purpose in listening to the professor’s words and filter the information to decide what is worth remembering.
9) Change the Attitude: Don’t consider a lecture boring and pointless before it begins; otherwise, it will appear to be so regardless its content. Go there with a purpose, focus, be attentive, and respect your professor.
An amount of research that proves the requirement for traditional lecturing is still considerable, and many educators are conservative with this approach. With that in mind, students do their best to stop accepting the world of learning as the one with an inevitable element of boredom by coming up with new and new ideas on getting the most out of the situation.