One of the most obvious differences you’ll notice when you start University is the contrast between the way in which you are taught at school and the way in which you are taught at University.
For one thing, at University you are not taught in lesson format from 9-3:30 every day. As an example I have 13 contact hours each week. What this means is that I am in either a lecture or a tutorial for 13 hours each week and for the rest of the time I am free to organise my time however I like.
Another difference is that as a law student at University, you will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and on some occasion’s seminars. You can think of lectures and tutorials as separating aspects of the way in which subjects are taught in your classes at school. Lectures are like the beginning of the lesson in schools where the information is introduced to you by the teacher and your role in it all is to listen intently (right?) and take notes. Tutorials on the other hand are kind of like the second half of a class when you are expected to apply what you’ve learnt to questions and often relay your answers to the class at the end.
The difference is that the impetus put on independent learning is cranked up to infinity to account in large part for the immense volume of information available on the topics that you study at university. Now don’t get me wrong you’re not expected to know everything there is to know on a given topic, but you are expected to know more than you would have been at school. Don’t let this worry you though, your studies at school are preparing you for Uni! 🙂
So, the lecturers are trying to provide a framework for you to plug in the things you’ve learnt from your own reading and tutorials are there to ensure that you’ve understood the information and to give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the material covered.
Picture this: you’re sat in your tutor’s office, notes and answers to the tutorial questions, set some weeks hence, in hand. Your tutor will guide the tutorial by asking questions, from both the tutorial sheet and maybe some general questions on the topic under discussion. You and your fellow tutee’s will be answering and asking questions and will finish the session feeling like you have a better understanding of the topic, which is what makes tutorials so great!
So there you have it; a quick insight into what to expect from Uni on the teaching side of things.
I hope you’re having a great weekend!