Not all law units have a percentage of your mark set aside for your participation in tutorials (or seminars, as my university likes to call them), but it’s often a good way to express your thoughts and ideas and actually have a go at applying the concepts you’ve been lectured on. For some people the idea is dreadful (ugh, I actually have to turn up and contribute?), for others, it could be daunting speaking up in front of the class, and for many, it’s a chance to show what you know. Here are some tips to get the maximum class participation marks without coming across as THAT person (you know the type).
Contribute, but don’t dominate the entire discussion.
It’s all well and good if you know the answers (and hats off to you), but no one appreciates someone who takes control of the entire conversation and doesn’t let anyone else have a go. Don’t be that person. Also, actually listen to what your classmates have to say – they might have picked up on something you missed. Take home message here: you should contribute your ideas, but so should everyone else.
Don’t argue with the tutor if they disagree with you.
Do not, I repeat, do not start an argument with your tutor if they don’t think your answer is correct – and I think we’ve all come across at least one of these people. Yes, we’re an argumentative bunch, but remember that everybody wants to learn and believe it or not, your tutor has been teaching it a lot longer than you’ve been learning it and therefore knows what they’re talking about. Don’t be the type of person who can’t take feedback on board – this will impact on you negatively when you go out into the workforce. Your tutor has your best interests in mind and only wants to make sure you pass the unit, so use their knowledge to get the best marks you can – that’s what they’re there for!
Don’t be the reason the class deviates from the course material.
While it’s useful to see a real world application of the coursework, the tutor is there for a reason: to guide you through some learning activities. So don’t get caught up in asking question after question – you can always discuss it outside of class as your tutors and lecturers are usually pretty happy to talk. Keep in mind that there is a class plan to follow and if you spend time discussing things that you don’t need to know in order to actually pass the course, the whole class will miss out on solidifying the concepts learnt in the lectures, which impacts your learning and therefore your ability to pass and do well.
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