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NT Academy is an interactive course taking you on the journey towards good note writing. It will help you to make useful notes and you will learn skills that will help you in your education and beyond. 

Introduction (copy)

About this course

NT Academy will support students and life learners to make useful notes.

We know that good note writing can be a challenge and that finding a style of note making that works best for you takes practice. For example, writing lots of notes for studying isn't always the best strategy for consolidating and reviewing information.

NT Academy will teach you why note taking is a vital skill for all learning environments. It will also guide you through different ways of note making, enabling you to create your own note taking strategy, based on your preferences and strengths.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course you will: 

•  Understand the importance of listening. 

•  Know different note making strategies and be able to apply practical solutions to creating good notes .

•   Be confident in applying the note making strategy that supports you in using and reviewing taught  information.

What to expect

  • Throughout the course there are interactive sections and short tests to support taught information. 
  • You can take as long you need to complete a section. 
  • You can redo a section at any time. 
  • You can skip a section at any time .
  • You can leave and return to a section at any time. 
  • At the start of each unit there is an indication of how long the unit may take to complete.


1 Learning to Listen

  •  What is Listening? 
  •  Barrier to listening 
  • How to be an Active Listener 

2 Note writing from lectures

  • What is a Lecture 
  • Features of a Lecture 

3 Note writing techniques

  •  What are Notes 
  • Cornell's Note Taking Strategy 
  • Mind Mapping 
  • Recording Notes 

4 Reviewing and summarising note

  • Reviewing Your Notes 
  • Creating an Outline 
  • Summary Paragraphs

5 Personalizing Notes

  •  Making your notes work for you 
  • Repetition and rehearsal 
  • How to generate questions for learning & Creating preview questions 

6 (Preplanning and) Consolidating your notes

  •  Understanding consolidation 

7 Using Notetalker as a study support tool

  •  Notetalker features -Notetalker app -Notetalker Edit

Section One : Learning to listen (copy)

What is listening?

Through listening to someone speaking we receive and process information through the ears.

By listening to someone talking, we identify sounds, stresses, letters, rhythms and pauses, all of which help us to identify important and non-important information.

The ear

Let’s briefly look at the anatomy of the ear and how it plays a vital part in listening.

In this section, we will introduce some of the interactive ways you can learn, including: 

  • Listening and responding to sound clips. 
  • Identifying parts of the ear from a picture.

The anatomy of the ear

The anatomy of the ear is made up of three parts - the outer, middle and inner ear.

  1. The outer ear consists of the pinna, the ear canal and ear drum.
  2. The middle ear contains three small bones – the ossicles – the malleus, the incus or anvil, and the stapes.
  3. The inner ear is made up of the cochlea, the auditory (hearing) nerve and the brain.

Take a look at the image below. Try to remember the name of each part of the ear.


How the ear works

Sound waves enter the ear canal and make the ear drum vibrate. This action moves the tiny chain of bones (ossicles – malleus, incus, stapes) in the middle ear. The last bone in this chain ‘knocks’ on the membrane window of the cochlea and makes the fluid in the cochlea move. The fluid movement then triggers a response in the hearing nerve.



Select the cochlea in the picture below. 


Select the ear canal in the picture below. 

Barriers to listening

At times barriers stop us from being able to listen.

Barriers to listening: hearing impairment

Some people may have a physical barrier which affects their ability to listen, such as deafness or hearing loss. 

When your hearing isn’t working normally, information is not being passed through the different parts of the ear to the brain effectively. 

The type of hearing impairment a person has depends on which part of their ear is not responding well.


Barriers to listening: noise

In a large open space like a lecture hall, it can be difficult to listen because of poor room acoustics. This might be especially true if you are sat further away from the speaker. 

In smaller spaces, like a coffee shop, it can be difficult to listen because of background noise, like other people's conversations.


In this quiz, you will hear two people talking to each other in a quiet room. Listen carefully to the conversation and then answer the question.

  1. Which author wrote the book that Caleb is recommending to Jim? 

  • John Richardson
  • John Moore
  • Janette Moore


In this quiz you will hear a lecturer discussing the topic of liberalism in a lecture theatre. Listen carefully to the conversation and then answer the question. 

  1. John Locke argued that every man has a natural right to ...

  • ... life, the universe and everything in it.
  • ... life, food and happiness.
  • ... life, liberty and poverty.

Listening as an activity

We have learnt that the physical ability of our ears is important in listening. The way we engage in listening as an activity is also important.

Different listening scenarios require different listening strategies. Whether we are making a list or writing down feedback, it’s a good idea to think about the best strategy to use.

Listening strategy - listening for specific or detailed information

One strategy when listening is to make brief notes, using words that are key components of a topic.  

You do not need to write down full sentences. Connective words, such as 'and' are not necessary. 


In this exercise match the notes to the key word.

  • Photosynthesis
    carbon dioxide + water (+ light energy) → glucose + oxygen
  • The ear
    Outer - canal, middle - ossicles, inner - auditory nerve
  • John Locke argued...
    Life. Liberty. Poverty.

Listening strategy - who, what, where, why, how

Listening strategy - listening for instructions

Another strategy when listening is to focus on detail that instructs you to carry out an activity. For example you may be asked to "write an essay". Or you may be told what you need to include in your essay.  

Listening strategy - listening out for key terms

These are some key terms you should listen out for when writing notes. 

Listening out for these will help you to focus on what is important. It will also help you become more organised in your study and meet deadlines.

Vital or important - something that is absolutely essential or necessary.

For example, your tutor might say: "It is vital to register your application in order to attend this course."

Don’t forget or remember - used to remind someone to do something.

For example, a lecturer may remind you: "Don't forget to bring in your core topic text book for next session as we will be working from this."

Listening strategy - listening out for action words

When you are listening to information the person speaking will sometimes use action words that require you to do something. For example, you may hear the following:

  • "Research" 
  • "Summarise" 
  • "Discuss with your group" 
  • "Find out more"


You might be set an activity to complete a PowerPoint slide for a group presentation and research might be involved.

You may be asked to research a subject and produce a summary for a group discussion. 


Drag and drop the correct words...

  • Prepare
  • Recognise
  • Research
  • Summarise
  • Read
  • Essay
  • Notice

Untitled statement question

  • Type your statement here...
  • Type your statement here...

Top tips when listening

If you don't understand what you hear

If you hear something that you don’t understand make a note and research it later.

If you don't understand the subject, write a question to ask someone about it later or to guide you to research it yourself. 

Prepare, relax and listen!

Allow yourself to be relaxed, prepared and organised. You can ask for a copy of course material prior to attending a talk. 

This way you will be focused on listening to key information. You will feel more prepared to learn and memories will be stored and retrieved more easily if you're relaxed in your environment.

End of section quick quiz?

Using Notetalker to make notes (copy)

Notetalker app introduction

Notetalker app

Notetalker app enables you to record audio, images and bookmarks using your smart phone. 

Notetalker app - saving a new note

Starting a new note

The Notetalker app uses up front saving to ensure you stay organised with your notes right from the start so when you start a new recording you will be asked to enter a file name and select a folder location where you want the file to be stored. 

Notetalker app - using folders

Setting up folders 

Notetalker app allows you to set up and edit your own set of folders for storing and organising your audio files. It is a good idea to do this before you start making recordings so you can easily access your work at a later date.

Notetalker app - backing up your files to a cloud drive

Linking your app to a cloud platform

You can link your app to a cloud platform such as Dropbox in order to upload your files. This will ensure you have easy access to your sound files wherever you are. Linking to a cloud platform is easy and can be done through the settings icon (cog) at the bottom right of the app screen. 

Notetalker app - recording basics

Recording Basics

During recording there are 3 main buttons available for selection on the app. 

  • Record / pause button  (largest button in the centre). This starts or pauses the recording. Pausing during a recording when things go 'off topic' is a useful way to reduce down the overall length of your recording. 
  • Photo button (camera). This enables you to take photos of things you see during a talk such as information on a flip chart and the app saves this information against that part of the sound recording. This also makes a new book mark.
  • Bookmark button (book). Clicking the bookmark button creates a bookmark at that point in the recording enabling you to navigate more easily around the recording on playback. 

Notetalker app - playback basics

Playing your recording back

When you have finished and saved your recording on the app you can play it back. During playback navigation buttons appear to enable you to fast forward and rewind through the recording as well as jump between the bookmarks you have made. At this stage you can review images you have created and keep or edit the bookmarks. 

A graphic equaliser also appears enabling you to change the dynamics of the recording helping you to hear vital spoken information. 

If you want to use the recording in the desktop software called 'Edit' you can export the recording from the app to a cloud platform or onto your computer via a cable and then open it in Edit. 

Unit 7: Using NoteTalker as a Study Support Tool (copy)

NoteTalker Study Features

Unit will cover

  • Notetalker Unique Features 

  • Notetalker App

  • Notetalker Edit

NoteTalker Unique Features

Key Study Features in NoteTalker

These are features which work as study skills support tools, in conjunction with techniques which have been covered in NTA. Along with NoteTalkers own Video study skills feature.

These tools will link to:-

  1. Cornell's technique

  2. Mind-mapping technique

  3. Recording technique 

  4. Use of video with Notetalker

How many Features will be covered?

  • 5
  • 6
  • 4
  • 10

Cornells Technique and NoteTalker

Cornells Technique 

What is Cornells Technique 

The Cornell technique provides a systematic format for condensing and organising notes. 

The student divides the paper into two columns: the note-collection column (usually on the right) is double the size of the questions/key word column (on the left). The student should leave five to seven lines, or about two inches, at the bottom of the page.

How many Columns should you divide your page into when using Cornells Technique?

  • 2
  • 5
  • 7

How NoteTalker works with this strategy

Cornell's and NoteTalker 

NoteTalker works well with Cornells note technique by have bookmarks as your left column and your Note Field under as your Right column. In essence flipping Cornell notes 90 Degrees. The added benefit would be if you had taken NoteTalker App to make a recording and bookmarked your main ideas along with noting these in Cornells style, you would have a audio recording to consolidate your written notes.


  • All your Main Ideas and Key notes in the left-hand column would become key ideas from your bookmarks
  • Your right column would be the bulk of your notes, key words, or further research


  • Using the Title to your bookmark would become your key ideas 
  • Under your Bookmark in the note field would become your right column for your Cornell full notes 

NoteTalker and Cornells- Where would you put main ideas?

NoteTalker and Cornells - Click where you would put full detailed notes

Exporting Cornells from NoteTalker

Exporting Cornell's Note's in Notetalker 

NoteTalker have made it easy to export notes into other formats to edit, print or even share. You are now able to export to Microsoft Word and as a PDF to share with friends or to print as revision aids.

Export Notes

Why is it Useful


Being able to use Cornell's note technique in Notetalker enables a learner to work in a systematic approach, supporting the learner in being able to develop active listening skills and listening to key terminology. 

Working in Notetalker to edit hand written Cornell's notes helps to organise and format quickly. 

Cornell's Technique works with NoteTalker App by using Bookmarks as the key ideas and text field for detailed notes.

Or if a leaner wishes to adopt Cornell's Technique when using Notetalker edit in listening environments this too can be adapted quickly again by bookmarking audio live and then add text to expand on key ideas. 

What Can be achieved

NoteTalker can work with Cornell's Technique

  • YES: NoteTalker uses bookmarks as Key Points and Text fields for expanding key ideas
  • NO: NoteTalker is only for recording audio and is unable to work with other study skills techniques

Can you fill in the missing words?

technique helps to ideas and supports study in enabling a learner to make formatted notes. Notetalker uses for Cornell's Key/main ideas and text fields to expand these key/main ideas.

To summarise

Cornells and NoteTalker

1. Work well together to condense notes and working in harmony to create great notes, which can be shared, printed or even used as revision aids.

2. By effectually turning your Cornells notes 90 degrees in NoteTalker creates a great linear approach which can be exported to different formats

3. Saves a learner time, builds and devoples active listening skills and through the use of process a more efficient way for a student to work quickly enabling, what was once a tasks into an interactive technique which can be shared. 

Mind - Mapping and Notetalker

How Mind-mapping works with NoteTalker

Notetalker has taken time to help create export functions which work well for a range of individuals. If you have Mind Mapping software such as Mindview you are now able to export your notes which have been created in NoteTalker edit into a visual Mind-Map. 

Mind- mapping

Why Mind-map?

By Mind mapping we are able to structured information, in a way that mirrors exactly how the brain functions – in a radiant rather than linear manner. By using a Mind Map, allows you to map out your thoughts using links and triggers to expand your thoughts and create further ideas.

This can be done with paper and pen, however, in recent times, the use of software has meant you are now able to computerise your radiant thoughts and correct these and delete sections, rather than starting a new map, wasting times, and paper. This gives a more professional look and is able to be printed off time and time again, supporting the use for revision and using this as a tool for a visual concept. 

Select the positives to using computerised mind-mapping

  • No need for pen and paper
  • Can delete and correct with-out needing to make a new mind-map
  • Wastes too much time
  • Uses too much power
  • Costs too much to run

How NoteTalker works with this strategy

Creating a Mind-Map from your NoteTalker notes

NoteTalker has taken the time to create export options to suit everyone. 

For instance you may be better with visual ques and pictures, this is why time has been taken to allow you to take your NoteTalker edit notes into a Mind-Map. 

This video shows how you can use you Key word and colour coding in Edit to build a Mind-map. 

1. Take time to go through note's highlighting key information 

2. Save Notes

3. Export these note's to Word, now you will notice a message asking if you would like to format these to use as a Mind-Map. Click YES

4. These will save in a word format

5. Open Mind Mapping software and look for a import function

6. Select the import button and look for your Word document this should then import into a Mind Map

7. Feel free to edit print and save in this format 

Order the List in how to export NoteTalker Edit notes to a Mind Map

  • Colour code key ideas
  • Save notes in NoteTalker Edit
  • Click export to Word
  • Click Yes (for use of a Mind-Map)
  • Load Mind-Mapping Program
  • Look for import button in Mind Mapping Program
  • Click on Import and Locate Word document
  • Edit Notes now in Mind-mapping program
  • Print, Share or send Mind-Map

Exporting and Sharing


As Notetalker enables you to share with Mind-Mapping programs this opens up lots of other ways for you to share your ideas, and send these in accessible formats.You can save you Mind-Map to to Word document and in most cases as a PDF even HTML file format, to enable you to share these visual notes with friends. 

MindView allows for Mind-Maps to export to:

- Microsoft Word

- Microsoft PowerPoint

- Microsoft Excel


- Picture



Tick formats which Mind-Maps can be shared in

  • Word
  • PDF
  • Paint
  • Excel
  • HTML

Why is it useful

Why is Mind-Mapping Notes useful?

As noted earlier your brains functions in a radial approach rather than a linear one. This means that we are expanding our thoughts out rather than down. Mind-mapping notes allows your brain to function with ideas in a radial way rather than just remember information. Your brain will do it best to make links to other information which you may already know. 

This also allows a for you to make viusal connection with lines linking your ideas together. You are also able to add in pictures (they say a picture paints a 1000 words after all).

What can be achieved

What can be achieved when using Mind-Mapping

Its important to highlight that these strategy are being shared to help you find the best solution for the creation of your own personalised notes. 

Using Mind-mapping benefits people with visual learning styles, also though it maybe that the linking of ideas is easier to demonstrate through a mind-map. Using this strategy achieves the following 

1. Visual demonstration of your own concepts

2. Development of your thoughts and where it leads

3. Still highlights main and key ideas

4. Through the use of pictures mean you do not need as much text

5. Notetalker enables you to transfer your notes into this format saving time in having to rewrite these in a visual way

Why use Mind-mapping technique?

  • Adds a visual element to notes showing how you have developed your own ideas from key information
  • Helps to create a linear view of notes as a task list

To summarise

NoteTalker and Mind-Mapping

This technique offered your edited notes in Notetalker edit to be colour coded and arranged in a visual format which works in harmony with how your brain radiates thoughts in a spacial way. 

This visual concept works fro people who benefit from picture ques and finds pictures and drawings acts as a trigger. It also supports you in being able to show how you developed your thoughts and build your own connections to material.

Recording technique

NoteTalker and Recording

NoteTalker has worked hard to develop an accessible recording app which can be downloaded from Apple store or Play store. Recording audio to support note collection is one of the secures ways to ensure you are able to listen back over information and not miss any content.

Recording Techniques

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What can be achieved