Effective Note-taking

Welcome to the course "Effective Note-taking".

Have you ever experienced any of these situations?

- Your professor goes so fast, you can't take everything down?

-There is so much material, not all of this can be important, right?

-These lectures are so technical, I don't know what any of this means!

- I took all these notes, but now I don't what to do with them!

This course will give you some tangible and practical ways to improve your note-taking so that you use them to do well on that next quiz, exam or paper!

Image result for note taking

Table of Contents:

1. Issues with Note-taking

2. Choosing your course

3. Note-taking issues: What strategies can you use?

4. Note-taking systems 

5. Choosing your note-taking system

6. Practicing your note-taking system

7. Wrap up


Section 1: Issues with Note-taking

Note-taking Issues - Familiar?

Think about your experience in lectures in all of your courses, with regard to taking notes. Discuss with a partner about your experiences and whether any of the following issues occur: 

  1. I have no issue with taking notes in this class.

  2. The professor goes too fast.

  3. I don't know what is important.

  4. The terminology is technical or confusing.

  5. I don't know how to use my notes for studying

Note-taking issues - Which course will you proceed with?

Gallery Walk

Let's brainstorm potential solutions...

We have four sheets posted around the room, each with a common complaint. 

Get a marker from your FIG mentor and walk to each sheet. Brainstorm any solutions that might help combat that particular complaint and add it with your marker. Once you've exhausted all your ideas, move to the next sheet and do the same. 

Once everyone is done, we will come together as a group and discuss the options.

Note-taking issues - What strategies can you use?

Match the issue with a strategy that will help!

Look at the strategies provided and thinking about what you know about each of the issues we've discussed, try to match the appropriate strategy with the issue.

  • Reflect on the material in notes and try to generate additional examples or explanations. Connect this material to other content and readings and create sample questions to quiz yourself.
    I don't know how to use my notes for studying.
  • Try to use shortened words, abbreviations, codes or drawings. Leave space if you miss something to fill in after class.
    The professor goes too fast.
  • Preview before lecture to familiarize yourself with key points to gain a basic understanding of the topic.
    I don't know what is important.
  • Write terms and concepts down and leave space to get definitions after lecture. Ask for assistance from the TA or professor.
    The terminology is technical or confusing.

Section 2: Different Note-taking Systems

Note-taking Systems - Five Most Effective

Which note-taking system is which?

Which note-taking system is the outlining system?

Look at the pictures of the five note-taking systems below and choose which one is known as the "outlining method".

Which note-taking system do you choose?

  • The Cornell Method
  • The Mapping Method
  • The Charting Method
  • The Sentence Method
  • The Outline Method

Section 3: Applying My Note-taking System

Time to Practice!

Let's try using your chosen note-taking system...

Take out your notes for the class you had chosen in Section 1 and using your preferred note-taking system, rewrite and reorganize your notes. 

Once you've completed that task, find someone who chose the same note-taking system and compare the course and how you rewrote and reorganized your notes.

Things to keep in mind:

1. Does this system alleviate the issue I identified in Section 1?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages for me in using this note-taking system for this class?

Final Assessment