Published: Jan. 17, 2020

Large lecture classes may be a new experience for many of us, but there are strategies for doing well. Here are some tips for making your lecture class a success this semester.

Sit near the front of the classClassroom at CU Boulder

If possible, sit as close to the front of the class as you can. This will help you stay engaged during the lecture and retain information.

Eliminate distractions

If you are someone who gets easily distracted, do what you can to maintain focus during class:

  • Put your phone on silent and out of reach, like in your backpack.
  • Consider taking notes by hand and not on a laptop, where you can check email or do other tasks.
  • If you prefer to use a laptop to take notes, log out of social media accounts and turn off notifications. Avoid opening a web browser and email if you can.

Introduce yourself to others around you

Try to get to class early and introduce yourself to those sitting around you. If you are someone who enjoys studying with others, consider setting up a study group with those you meet.

Go to your instructor’s office hours

Faculty members often make time during the week to be available for students outside of the classroom. This is known as "office hours." Office hours allow you to meet one-on-one to ask questions or express concerns.  

It’s beneficial to go to your instructors’ office hours early in the semester to introduce yourself. This can make it easier to ask for help or guidance later on. Regularly attending office hours and establishing a rapport with faculty can offer additional opportunities, like research projects or internships. 

Ask for help

If you find yourself struggling or not understanding the material, don’t hesitate to ask for help—and ask early! Take advantage of free academic resources such as the Writing Center and University Libraries. Free tutoring in all subjects is available to students living in the residence halls and Bear Creek Apartments and first-year commuter students through the Academic Success & Achievement Program.