Life at Uni: Lectures versus lessons

By Gordon Rugg

A lot of things at university look very similar to things in school, but are actually very different. Lectures look like lessons to a lot of new students at university, but they’re very different beneath the surface.

One major difference is this:

  • In a lesson, the teacher is someone who knows the textbooks.
  • In a lecture, the lecturer is often the person who wrote the textbooks.

It’s a rule of thumb – some teachers write textbooks, and many lecturers don’t write textbooks, for various reasons – but it brings out a key underlying point. Lecturers do a lot of things in addition to delivering lectures, and a lot of lecturers are world class experts in their fields.

Student reactions to this vary.

  • Some students view this as an opportunity.
  • Some students view this as intimidating.
  • Most students either don’t know this, or haven’t thought about the implications.

academic muppets

Image from Twitter

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