Lecture Etiquette 101

Don’t roll up super late

Now I know it can be hard to get to all your lectures on time, especially if you have horrific 8 am starts! But seriously, nothing makes you look like more of an unorganized twit than shambling into a full lecture theatre some 25 minutes into a lecture.

For one thing, you have missed half of the lecture anyway, and by the time you’ve found a seat and got yourself organized you will have missed even more. Another thing is that it’s really distracting for everyone else. Especially if you aren’t the only latecomer! There’s nothing more annoying than different people arriving late to a lecture in 5-minute intervals, it puts off your lecturer as well as your classmates.

Keep your devices on silent

You would think that this would be obvious to people, but you would be surprised how many people simply don’t bother. Obviously it is pretty annoying and obnoxious if someone’s phone keeps noisily going off in class, it’s even more embarrassing if it actually rings.

However, the most embarrassing situation is when something starts playing on your laptop with sound. All it takes is to accidentally click a video on Facebook. The trouble with this is that not only is it mortifying for you, it also informs your lecturer that you have most certainly not been on task.

So be prepared for you lecturer to glare at you whilst the rest of your classmates turn round and ogle the idiot watching loud videos in the middle of a lecture.

Do yourself and everyone else a favor and put EVERYTHING on silent.

Don’t distract others if you are bored

It’s perfectly fine to get distracted in a lecture. Some times your head is just not in the game. Hey, no ones perfect! So rather than listening to your lecturer drone on, trawl Facebook, check your emails or send a text. You shouldn’t really do this stuff in your lecture but hey, you’re the only one it affects.

However, what is not cool is when you end up distracting others. I witnessed a prime example during a particularly tedious lecture one day. Everyone was bored out of their minds, battling to pay attention. Pretty soon no one was paying attention because someone at the front of the class was watching a muted movie with subtitles on. In the end, the whole class was watching this person's laptop. You couldn’t help yourself! It got so bad the lecturer had to intervene!

If you want to watch a movie that much, just skip your lecture and do it at home. The same goes for anything else you want to do in class that will put off others. 

Ask RELEVANT questions

Obviously, you should ask questions during a lecture, after all, you should make the most of having you lecturer right there. Just make sure that your questions are actually relevant to the course, and are actually questions. I know this stuff sounds obvious but people will come out will all sorts of things!

A short relevant question is often helpful to you and your classmates. A rambling monologue with no point or purpose is just annoying and distracting. I was cursed with these two particular classmates. They were in almost all my lectures and would interrupt the lecturer with long rambling statements. More often than not they wouldn’t even ask a question. It got to the point where one of them would put their hand up and the rest of us would groan. You look like a real idiot when the lecturer says ‘I don’t know what you are asking or what you are on about!’ These guys didn’t let that stop them though.

I don’t want to put you off asking questions, as it is an important part of learning. However, if it isn’t relevant to the lecture you may be better off waiting until the end of class to talk to your lecturer, or even sending them an email. 

Give uni a miss if you are sick

We all know it’s is not a good idea for getting into the habit of skipping lectures. However, there are some situations when it just can’t be helped. Being sick is one of these situations.

It is not ‘noble’ or ‘super dedicated’ going to uni when you are at death's door. It’s stupid. For one thing, someone hacking and coughing their way through a lecture can be pretty distracting. Even better is the prospect of being crammed into a stuffy lecture theatre with sick people. All you are going to do is get your classmates sick too. Nobody wants that.

And let us face it if you are about to drop dead from the flu; I doubt you will be able to take in much of a lecture. It’s better for everyone if you just rest up at home. If you are worried about missing too much content, your classmates will be happy to help you out if you have been sick. Don’t let your studies get in the way of your health!

So now you can head off your lectures safe in the knowledge that you know what you are doing! 

Written by Catlin Ward