Attending lectures vs Listening Online

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As much as I prefer physically going to lectures – in the past 2 weeks I have been heavily relying on lectopia to get me through the content. (Lectopia is the OLD name for the system that deals with lecture recordings – the new name is Echo. But I’m going to stick to Lectopia because it sounds better than silly echo)

Number of reason why I’ve been opting for lecture recordings lately:

1) It’s impossible to hear my lecturers – even when I’m sitting in the first couple of rows, I can barely hear them! SPEAK UP P-LEASE!

2) Too sick to venture to uni

3) You know how when you miss the one lecture, and it’s like a domino effect on all the other lectures! And you get that feeling where you can’t attend the next lecture, because you haven’t listened to the previous lecture? Well, I’ve been playing the catch up game. (and back on track woo!)

4) I simply can’t keep up with the lecturer! They’ve been speeding through all the content, and I just cannot follow and understand what the lecture is about

5) Lecturers not uploading our notes onto LMS – this makes this SUPER annoying and difficult for us to follow the lecture. My goodness, this year has been the worst in terms of lecturers putting notes onto LMS *grumbles and waves fist in the air* (And, one of my lecturers didn’t even show up the other day! What is going on!?)

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This post will discuss the whole debate of attending lectures and online recordings.

Here we go!

Why you should attend your lectures:

Trust me I’m not here to nag at you, I’m just giving some justification to attend your lectures

Education is not free

Think about how much you are paying to go to uni! Tuition fees are sky high, and unfortunately education here in Australia isn’t exactly free. You are paying x amount of money for these lectures to educate you, so why not get your money’s worth and attend the lectures. My personal view is that education is a privilege – so don’t waste it!

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Quality of lecture recordings aren’t always crash hot

Don’t rely too much on lecture recordings because the quality is sometime VERY poor. And lecturers are human too – and sometimes forget to turn their microphones on!

Exam sample questions/Important information

I know that sometimes my lecturers put up sample exam questions as a ‘reward’ for students who actually attend the lectures (these questions won’t be uploaded on the LMS). Sneaky lecturers

It’s not the same as listening online

I love putting a face to whoever is presenting the lecture! When you are listening to the recordings, you are subjected to so many distractions such as: “ooh I feel like a coffee” *pauses lecture, goes to kitchen and makes a coffee* etc. While when you are in the lecture theatre environment, you are THERE and kinda have to pay attention. And lecturers always tend to point at stuff on the screens, so it’s good to be at the lecture to see what they’re pointing at etc.

Why should all lectures be recorded?

ALL lectures should be recorded. No questions about it! We have the technology for it – why not just record it! I’m so surprised that there are still a large amount of subjects out there aren’t recorded…

To accommodate for students who have unavoidable clashes

It’s not like we don’t choose to attend the lectures, it’s because we have unavoidable clashes!

I myself have a timetable clash! My science subject – Australian Wildlife Biology prac clashes with my breadth – Wellbeing, Motivation and Performance lecture. And I absolutely could not find a breadth that I liked that DIDN’T clash with my science timetable. So after a couple of emails to the coordinator, there was an arrangement for the lectures to be recorded (WIN!)

Students whose english is not their first language/have learning disabilities/ill/cannot make it to uni for other reasons etc.

Like I mentioned earlier – I need to re-listen most of my lectures to consolidate all the info! I’ve been playing the ‘pause, rewind and play’ game – lectopia is my saviour!

For students with long travel times

For example – if you have a 3 hour commute to uni and you only have a one hour lecture on that day…is it REALLY worth it journeying to uni? You’re better off using your time more effectively and listening to it online…

Awesome revision tools!

I download my lectures and sync them on my ipod to listen to on the train to uni – great way to study on the go!

What can you do if your lecture is not recorded?

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Photo: UMSU

The Student Union’s Education Officers have been running a campaign for a while now, trying to advocate to all lecturers to record their lectures.

They recommend that you email your lecturers (click me for more info), or get in touch with one of their reps!

Talking about Education Officers…I was considering running for the position last year but decided at the last minute not to. Hmm…maybe I should think about running for next year?Decision decisions.

At the end of the day…

Of course, like all the lecturers say “lecture recordings are not a substitute to class attendance” – yes, yes…we know. But I do agree with this! From experience, it’s really easy to fall behind when you miss a lecture/forget to listen to them online (but not impossible to catch up).

My piece of advice: use common sense and decide yourself.

If you know that you’re not going to be able to concentrate for duration of the lecture, are you better off going home, have a nap, and listen to the recording when you are 100% on the ball?

I don’t know! It’s up to you.

And that, my friends, is the end to this post!

If you have anything to add, leave a comment! Would love to hear your opinions :)

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