If you think a seminar is school’s version of a ‘class’ in a conventional classroom, you will be utterly dissapointed. Many students come to university with little to no idea on how you actually prepare for a seminar, so here’s a few top tips to help get you through these utterly anti-social gatherings.
1.Come with knowledge of the lectures.
This seems obvious but so many people miss their lectures in first year. If you miss the lectures, check out the slides on the VLE or ask coursemates for their notes, otherwise there is no point going.
2. Understand the reading.
This means break down the reading into little, easy to digest chunks. Label each part of the reading, skim each bit and try to figure out what they are trying to do in each section, then read each section more deeply and figure out what they are doing.
3. Figure out what you don’t understand.
You will have questions about the reading or things you didn’t understand. Your seminar tutor will probably ask people whether they have any questions and sometimes even base the seminar around it. As you read, write down any questions you have so you can ask in the seminar.
4. Go to office hours.
A one on one with the person who wrote the course is the best way to understand the reading and what they want from you! You don’t have many contact hours, get your money’s worth. Don’t worry if you think you’ll look stupid for not being as knowledgeable as them, they don’t expect you to be and are probably happy that you are distracting them from whatever they are doing in their office.
5. Chat to coursemates!
An amazing way to make friends on your course and also you can probably start discussions about the material with each other which can be carried on or explained in the seminar. You get more work done and you make friends at the same time.
Let us know how you get on @YorkVision