“I’ve got something to say, but I just don’t know how to say it. What if I say the wrong thing or forget what I was going to say halfway through? I probably don’t know as much as everyone else here, anyway. What does that word even mean? Should I look it up or keep listening? What am I supposed to be doing anyway?“
Let’s face it, whether they’re online or in-person, participating in seminars and tutorials can be tricky. You might find it quite unnerving or intimidating talking in front of your peers or a tutor. Or maybe you find it easy to speak, but that it’s difficult to get a conversation going. Or maybe you’ve got things that you want to say, but just don’t know how to enter the discussion.
Well, if any of this sounds familiar than the Academic Skills Team have got you covered. We’ve been working with our colleagues from the university’s Counselling Services to put together a bunch of resources, strategies and tips for effectively participating in seminars.
They key thing to remember is that seminar participation isn’t all about talking or answering questions, there’s lots of different ways to valuably contribute to a seminar. You can ask a question about something you didn’t quite understand, provide space and support for others to express their ideas, build on something someone else said or even just express agreement or disagreement.
If you want to find out more, you can follow this link to hear AST tutor Nicky talk about the Speculating, Enabling, Challenging [SEC] framework for seminar participation and how it can help you get the most out of seminars.
You can also book a 1-1 appointment with the Academic Skills Team if you’d like some more tailored guidance on seminar participation or other academic skills.
And stay tuned for more videos and study guides on seminar participation. Next up we’ll be looking at some concrete strategies for doing each of these things in a seminar.