Tutorial: How to Revise with Lecture Recordings

Research has shown that the best way to engage and revise your courses is to do small chunks over a lengthy period of time. This means that cramming your revision at the end of the semester, during the study period, is likely to be ineffective.

Instead, you should learn as you go along by actively interacting with the lecture materials (slides and recordings) over increasingly longer intervals. When doing this, it is best to test your knowledge, rather than re-read your notes or re-watch the course's lecture recordings.

Indeed, they say that practice makes perfect: so, in order to perfect your exam performance, you should practise what you will be doing in the exam. That is, you should practise recalling your knowledge. You won't be re-reading your notes or re-watching lecture recordings in the exam, but you will have to actively remember your notes without having them in front of you. This is what you should practise. Some ways of doing this are:

  • Flashcards on a lecture's main points or terminology.
  • Explaining your notes back to yourself without looking.
  • Rewriting your notes without looking and then checking with lecture slides/ recordings.
  • Explaining sections of the course to your study group without the aid of written notes.
  • Writing timed practice essays on your courses' various topics without any prompts.
  • Taking quizzes (often linked to course textbooks).
  • Making your own quizzes.
  • Trying to explain parts of the lecture before you re-watch specific sections.
  • Make analogies and connections between different parts of lectures.
  • Re-watch 5-minute sections of different lectures to see how the concepts relate
It is important that you monitor how successful these strategies are for you. Test yourself and if you don't see your score improving, think about why this is the case and make adjustments. Maybe you need to engage with the notes you took in lectures in a different way. Have you tried drawing your notes or devising silly stories to explain difficult concepts? If it isn't working for you, try something else.

But remember, you learn by testing yourself; you don't learn by practising reading. Practise what you will do in the exam and do it over a period of time.

Although different courses and different levels of study use different exam formats (e.g. online or on-campus), the advice for revising with lecture content is the same. In most circumstances you will be required to actively recall what you have learned through your lectures, so you should revise by testing yourself on this material.

Remember that you can always transfer what you learn here to a computer/ mobile app for convenience (see additional resources).

Using your revision grid (continue working through this section to see the grid) in conjunction with your timetable and SMART goal knowledge, you should take time to reflect on your revision. Are you meeting your measurable outcomes? Are you completing your goals within your timeframe? Do you need to study in a different environment? Add some reflection time to your weekly planner to see if your SMART revision is paying off.

Last modified: Sunday, 9 Aug 2020, 16:32