Skills Hub

Using lecture recordings

Lecture recordings can help you to review and revise your module material.

Active learning

Rather than simply playing back and listening to the lecture recording, try to use it in active ways to help you to understand and remember the topic.

  • Fill in any important points that you missed in your lecture notes, or note anything the lecturer referred to that you want to follow up.
  • Use the recording to answer questions that occurred to you during the lecture.
  • Go over complex concepts to improve your understanding.
  • Your lecturer may include activities or example problems that you can work through using the recording.
  • Watch sections with a friend and discuss the key themes.
  • Your lecturer may refer to articles or further reading. Use the recording to quickly find the references so you don't have to note them down during the lecture.
  • Try to make links between concepts or topics from previous lectures/seminars. Think about how they compare and where they differ.

Photo of Beth


Lecture recordings are a great tool for revision or for when you are completing a written submission on a topic. They allow you to fully concentrate in your lectures and really think about what your lecturer is saying and how you can apply it to your work. (Bethan Hunt, Education Officer, Sussex Students' Union) 

Laptop and headphones

International students

  • When doing your pre-lecture reading, look up new vocabulary and the pronunciation and other parts of speech so that you can recognise the words in the lecture.
  • Check how each lecturer structures their lectures. They will probably explain at the start how the material will be organised. This will help you to follow their future lectures. 


It's a good idea to make notes during your lectures. Making notes helps you to check you've understood properly. It is easier to remember the topic if the notes are in your own words. See making notes in lectures.

When you are listening to a lecture recording, it is not helpful to write notes word-for-word. Listen for the important points.

Active note-making ideas

  • Leave space in your notes for your questions.
  • Try different note-making styles.
  • Use images, pictures, diagrams or highlighters to make your notes memorable.
  • Test your understanding by summarising the key points from your lecture.
  • Ask questions: How does what you've learnt fit with what you already know about the topic? Did anything surprise you?
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