The students usually complain that they are not able to follow the topics taught in the class. First of all, the student should have fundamental knowledge about what the subject is about. I don’t think many of the current generation students has a fundamental understanding about the subject being taught. The students hear about it for the first time only when they attend the first class. It is always good to have a thorough visit of the topics given in the syllabus. Most of the student doesn’t even know what all are the subjects and who all are teaching. Once the vacation starts, they are all set to enjoy. Of course, that is very much required, but not by completely sacrificing the academic career. Now a days, internet connectivity is not at all difficult and there a lot of open course lectures, video lecture, tutorials, presentations available in the web. So, finding articles and notes on any topic is not at all a difficult task. The are digital Libraries like ACM Digital Library, IEEE, Computer Society, etc are some of these.
Listening the lecture: Primary responsibility of the student is to listen to the class carefully. One hour should be spend outside the class on reading the topics taught for one hour in the class. Now-a-days, it never happens or the teacher must be enthusiastic enough to make the students read the topics by making the classes interesting. Spending some time on reading the topics can be of great help as it is memorized naturally. Because, what ever is taught in the class and if you have listened it carefully (not just heard!), it is more than enough to link the topic while reading it outside the class. You might have noticed that the receptivity loses as the day goes on and the receptivity you had in the morning is completely lost by afternoon and get bored. You may feel too sleepy also. There is only one solution for this. Your determination. If you have a goal in the mind to complete your studies successfully and if you are aware about it always in the class, it will help you a lot.
During the lecture: Some students write the key points during the class time. I never allowed it for the students. If you go back to our old way of teaching and learning, there was no concept of “taking down the notes”. It was completely memorized. Now, the technology has improved and we need some kind of external help to keep the memory alive. One way writing can help – just to mug up the topic. But to understand the topic conceptually, listening is more important. When the teacher talks about the topic, your mind should have already visualized the topic and then it is complete. Later, the reading will supplement and make the topic memorized.