I won’t remind you how close we are to the beginning of the school year, because that means that summer is coming to an end. You heard me, no more sleeping in till 2PM to catch up on the hours of sleep you lost from having a Netflix marathon. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are different types of classes on your schedule. You know what I’m talking about, the blue and green boxes that tell you have class, where it is, etc. In the following post, I am going to be discussing the different types of classes and what you can expect to gain in each of these classes.
Lectures are where your instructor will go over course material a certain amount of times a week. The entire class meets in the same lecture hall – there can be as many as 500 people! – and learn about various topics. Depending on the instructor’s rules, students can bring in their laptops to take notes, because some instructors don’t allow electronics in their lectures. Instructors will go over material that relates to the readings given for the week and explain things in ways that allow students to gain a better understanding. For instance, I am an English Major and often times I don’t have a clue what I am reading about. Going to lectures is helpful because instructors will break down the reading and allow students to ask questions and learn collectively to get a better understanding! It isn’t wise to skip lectures because you could miss something very important, and some instructors will give quizzes that go towards your final mark during lecture!
As mentioned before, lectures can have a large amount of students and it’s nearly impossible for the instructor to cater to the different learning styles of every student in the lecture hall. Seminars consist of a small amount of students – usually around 15 – and an instructor. In seminar sessions, students have the opportunity to exchange ideas, thoughts and theories amongst each other on course materials to get a better understanding of what goes on in class. Seminars count as a part of your final grade, so it isn’t wise to skip seminars to hang out with friends. You get extra marks for simply participating and asking questions in seminar, which can have a huge impact on your final grade. If you aren’t the greatest on final exams, use seminars to your advantage!
Labs can be used for a number of reasons, including hands on learning and extra class time. Some instructors will put a lab period after lectures to avoid having to stop important lectures, or movies. In addition, many programs use lab time to allow students to get hands on knowledge of certain concepts. After all, the best way to learn something is to do it, right! Labs are essentially another way that instructors grade students based on their performance in the lab; so missing a few too many could hurt your final grade!
If you are ever going to miss a lab or a seminar, you can always email your instructor and they will work with you to find a time that you can make up the missed class time! Just be sure to provide the proper documentation to prove why you were away from class, and everything will go smooth! Now that you know all about the class types, you are ready to be an official badger!