Mind Your Manners: Lectures vs Tutorials

Phones

Lectures:

So technically, you should never be on your phone while you’re in a class of any kind. But if you’re going to risk it, you have a better chance of getting away with it in a lecture. Especially if you’re in a strategically chosen seat up the back. Just make sure your phone is on silent before you start texting.

Tutorials:

This is a big no-no. Smaller class sizes, group discussion, and your professor sitting a couple metres away do not create good conditions to be on your phone. Not only is it kinda rude, you’re also robbing yourself of a really valuable learning opportunity. And no matter how sneaky you think you are by checking your phone under the desk, you’re always going to get caught.

Snacks

Lectures:

Really, you shouldn’t be eating in any class, lecture or tutorial. But that never stopped anyone. It’s a lot easier to get away with eating in a lecture, as long as you’re sneaky. Just don’t sit down and then immediately rip open a pack of salt and vinegar chips and and you should be able to get away with it. Remember, sneaky snacking is only to be used in emergencies.

Tutorials:

It’s probably just best not to eat during a tutorial. You’ll be in close quarters with your classmates, and you’ll probably be expected to contribute at some point, and that’s difficult to do with a mouthful of pretzels. Try to suppress your hunger as long as possible, and maybe take a fake bathroom break to munch down a chocolate bar if you get desperate.

Laptops

Lectures:

Although I’ve had a couple of lecturers who had an issue with people using laptops in their classes, most are okay with it. It’s really up to you to decide what method of taking notes works best for you. And don’t be afraid to just check with your lecturer if you’re not sure.

Tutorials:

Again, the etiquette on this one varies. Using laptops in tutorials can sometimes make it harder for you to interact with the other people in your class, and taking notes by hand is usually the most popular method. My advice is to take a book for the first class and suss out what everyone else is doing. Follow the crowd on this one.

Attendance

Lectures:

Attendance for lectures varies depending on your course, but generally you won’t get in too much trouble if you do miss a few. Just make sure that you catch up by watching the lectures online or borrowing the notes from a reliable friend.

Tutorials:

It’s pretty important to make sure you attend these. In some classes it’s compulsory, but you should have two weeks you can miss. Make sure you use these wisely, though. Don’t waste them on a hangover. Save them for when you have a huge family emergency, or have three assignments due on the same day (that really does happen). Also, if you get graded on participation, your tutorials are where you will earn those marks.