The good and the not so good.
I am an international student so, the concept of ‘seminar’ was not that clear to me at the beginning.
It helped me a lot to ask to LSE alumni and read the blog “What’s What: A lecture Versus a Seminar”. In my case, I have one lecture and one seminar a week for each of my subjects, so seminars are a thing! For many students, me included, seminars are a great way to engage with professors and classmates in a more intimate way.
What are seminars about?
Seminars commonly aim to discuss a case study and promote debate. Usually, the professor sends readings and questions before the session, so you can prepare your argument, develop questions, and enrich the session. A lot of experiences, values and impressions are shared among the participants, so seminars are a good opportunity to get to know your classmates better, while the professors use them to grade your participation.
Seminars – The good
- The chance to participate and ask as many questions as you need.
- Interact with the cohort in an intellectual manner.
- Network with your classmates and professor.
- Add to the wisdom of the crowd and build upon each one’s ideas.
- Shine! Seminars are perfect to share what you know about a certain topic.
- Have lunch with your classmates to continue the conversation.
Seminars – The not so good
- It’s indispensable to read the intended session material on time. Otherwise, you won’t be able to add much to the conversation.
- The discussion may be vague if the professor is not a good facilitator (fortunately, this has never happened to me).
- The collective pressure is stronger, especially if you are an introvert. People in LSE are smart, and most of them have a strong point of view to state.
As you can see, I could not mention many cons about the seminars. The truth is, I feel most of the students love this format, and even prefer it over the lecture one.
See you in LSE soon. What do you think about seminars? Share your impressions in the comment box!