Students referencing lecture notes has been a problem in almost every course I have tutored or taught. Lectures are meant to be a condensed presentation of a given topic or problematic that is congruent with the aims and outcomes of the course. One of my problems is that I often try to discuss far too much material, and I am trying to figure out ways of avoiding this. I like the 2 hour lecture format, and when I have run 3 hour seminars for ultra-condense MA or summer school courses I have often presented a 2 hour lecture that synthesizes 3 one hour lectures.
But I have been thinking about why students reference lectures. I think it may be because they do not understand that the lecture is a presentation of a whole bunch of other people’s ideas and arguments. Perhaps they believe that the lecturer has come up with all the ideas they are presenting? I don’t know. Very rarely have I actually discussed my own research and this has been for mixed results. In my classes this week I may remind students that lectures are meant to be a prompt to follow up other material. For this to happen I will be extra diligent providing references in the lecture summaries I post online for the unit I am teaching. This has come up because I have started marking essay plans from my first year students, and of the students who have actually made a pretty good effort, most reference the lecture notes for whichever week and correlating essay topic question they have chosen to write about.