Handy Tips for Your Own Work
Tutorials Accompanying the Lectures
We cannot stress the importance of the tutorials accompanying the lectures enough. The homework assignments to be worked on in writing are intended to deepen and improve your understanding of the lecture material. As a rule, these tasks are discussed in advance during the tutorials; however, the tutorial assistants (who are usually students of higher semesters) do not present you with a ready-made solution, but you should look for one yourself by contributing your own ideas and thus helping to shape the course of the tutorial. Sometimes it is required that you use only limited resources for finding the solution, e.g. that you only use results and concepts that have already been discussed in the lecture. Your written solutions will be reviewed and corrected by your tutorial assistants and then debriefed in the tutorial sessions. You may be asked to present your own solution yourself. Successful participation in the tutorials qualifies you for the respective module examinations. The criteria are determined by the respective lecturers. Mostly it is required
- that a certain percentage of the tasks is completed successfully,
- that you actively participate in the tutorial group,
- proof that you have mastered the lecture material (e.g. through in-class exercises).
You should tackle as many exercise tasks as possible. Working together with fellow students can be very inspiring. Try to work with others from the very beginning. If you run the risk of passively absorbing other people's ideas and actively contributing less yourself, then you should first work on the exercises alone and only then discuss your solution ideas with your fellow students.
Dealing with Problems
Don't avoid trouble by simply copying solutions from others, whether only in idea or even by copying directly. However, if you do not make progress despite your own intensive work, don't isolate yourself with your difficulties, but discuss the lecture material with your fellow students and/or ask your tutorial assistant or your lecturer. Don't be afraid to ask a “stupid” question and reveal your uncertainty: Your fellow students may feel the same way, and lecturers and assistants know this from experience. Don't be afraid to offer justified criticism and don't be afraid to ask a question during a lecture or tutorial session if something seems unclear to you; there are no grades for participation at the university. However, experience has shown that active and intensive participation increases your learning progress.
You should take notes in every lecture. How detailed your notes should be depends very much on your own working style. If the instructor sticks closely to a book, to the lecture notes he or she publishes, or slides and other working materials provided, a few key words may suffice. Reference reading in books is important, but it is not enough. In any case, based on your notes or textbook reading, you should be able to thoroughly review the material from each session. This review is especially important in the field of mathematics. During the lecture, you will not always understand all the details right away; nor is this expected. Nevertheless, the instructor expects you to have worked through the material thoroughly by the next lecture session and to be familiar enough with it to be able to continue the lecture on this basis. The schedules assume that you will need about one hour of rework time per lecture hour. Whether you can get by with this depends on how you work. In any case, you should allow for at least this amount of work time in your weekly schedule, plus sufficient time to work on the exercises. This means that a schedule with 20 hours of lectures and tutorials per week fills a whole week.
It is beneficial to join forces with fellow students for a collaborative follow-up work in a working group. However, you should make sure that you have enough room for your own active participation in your working group; it is generally not sufficient to join an existing working group in order to only passively benefit from it. If you do not manage to complete all the work during the semester, make up the rest during the semester break.