for Studying, Learning, and Researching
David Alderoty © 2014
Chapter 18) Lectures
and Note Taking, With Active Learning Strategies
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Active Learning for
Lectures, with Note Taking
The Passive Learning, Associated
with Lectures, Can be Converted to Active Learning, with Good Note Taking Strategies
to a lecture is ineffective passive learning. However, you can convert this
type of study to active learning, with the note taking techniques,
listed under the following subheadings.
A Good Note Taking Strategy,
Facilitates Active Learning
you are taking notes, do not worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
You do not have to worry about the structure of your sentences. You can even
use sentence fragments in your notes.
can devise your own abbreviations, for note taking. You can even use one or
two letters for an abbreviation, when words are frequently repeated in a
lecture. You should define what your abbreviations mean, on top of your notes,
if you think you might forget the meaning when you read back your notes.
can create notes with diagrams and even mathematics, if you can do it quickly.
You can create rough diagrams, which do not have to be perfect.
the ideas presented in the previous four paragraphs, you can spend less time and
effort on note taking, and focus on the lecture.
Reviewing and Rewriting Your Notes
The notes you take during a lecture, should be reviewed, corrected,
and rewritten after class, in a Microsoft Word document. During
the rewriting process, you should try to correct spelling, grammar, punctuation,
and sentence structure. Add any additional material to clarify your notes.
This can involve adding additional material from your textbook, or Internet
you are confused about any of the material in your notes, create a related set
of questions. Then you can obtain clarifying answers from the assigned
textbook, Internet searches, or from your instructor.
notes should have a date on them, and all
of your notes for a specific class, should be
arranged by date, in one Microsoft Word document.
This will make it easy for you to review your notes, which should be done
periodically throughout the semester, and before examinations.
Microsoft Word, 2010 or Later, for
recommend Microsoft Word 2010, or later, for rewriting notes, because you can
enter mathematical symbols and diagrams directly in a Word document, such as
Microsoft Word 2010, and later versions, can also solve math problems electronically,
with a free download from Microsoft. See the following examples. (I change
the color of the solutions calculated by the software to red type.)
2010 can even graph equations electronically, such as the following:
you are not taking classes with mathematics, and you do not use diagrams in
your notes, you might want to choose an easier to use and less expensive
alternative to Microsoft Word. You might prefer the simplest software, which
is usually inexpensive, or free. See the following website for additional
Free Minimalist Word Processors for Greater Productivity
Preparation for Lectures, will
Facilitate Learning and Better Note Taking
you know what a lecture is going to involve, you can prepare yourself by
reading related material. You can also listen to YouTube videos on the
subject. This will make it easier to understand the lecture, and take good
Strategies for Note Taking
Recording Class Lectures, and Taking Notes After Class from a Recording
notes while listening to a lecture is a form of active learning. However, note
taking can distract you from the lecture, especially if you are unfamiliar with
the material. This difficulty can be compounded, when the instructor does not
speak well, and/or has a heavy foreign accent.
some students, note taking requires a considerable amount of effort and time,
and severely distracts them from the lecture. For other students note taking
may be only a minor distraction, but this will usually limit their ability to
grasp all of the ideas presented in a lecture.
You can eliminate all of the problems mentioned above, by
recording class lectures, and after class, you can take notes from the
recording. With this strategy, you can type your
notes directly into a Microsoft Word document, while listening to the
recording. It is easier, and far more efficient to take notes from a
recording, especially if you are typing your notes directly into a Word
document. This is because you can stop the recording, if you need more time to
write your notes. You can also repeat sections of the recording, if you miss
any of the important ideas from the lecture. You can check the quality of your
notes, by replaying the entire recording if necessary.
can record class lectures with portable tape recorders, digital voice
recorders, laptop computers, and even some cell phones. For
computers and cell phones, you must have the required software to record sound.
recordings you make should have high quality sound. If this is not the case,
you can usually improve sound quality by buying a high quality microphone. You
can also improve sound quality by sitting in the first row, or placing your
recorder, on the instructor’s desk, if this is permissible.
in mind, making recordings in class requires the permission of the
instructor. Some instructors may not allow lectures to be recorded.
additional information and alternative perspectives, from other authors, see
the following websites: 1) How
to Get the Most of Recording College Lectures,
Pros and Cons of Recording Your Class Lectures.
The following websites provide information about the equipment for recording
lectures: 3) VOICE
RECORDERS Reviews, from walmart, 4) Understanding
and Buying Digital Voice Recorders, 5) 2014
Best Digital Voice Recorder Reviews and Comparisons,
Class Notes Free - Record and Tag Class Lectures, By BlackMuse Software.
Alternatives to Note Taking that You
a tape recording of a lecture, without taking any notes is
ineffective passive learning, which should be avoided. Some instructors
provide handouts, which do not eliminate the need for taking notes.
in mind, good note taking, whether in class, or from a tape recorder, is a form
of active learning, which facilitates comprehension and memory retention.
If You are Not Taking Notes in Class,
Use Alternative Strategies to Maintain Active Learning During a Lecture
you are not taking notes during a lecture because you are recording it,
or for any other reason, you can maintain active learning with one or more of
to associate the concepts and information in a lecture, with ideas and concepts
that you previously mastered.
you find any portion of a lecture confusing, think of questions that would
eliminate your confusion. You can find answers to these questions with
Internet searches, consulting your textbook, or by asking the instructor. If
the instructor is encouraging students to ask questions, you might be able to
obtain the information you need before leaving class.
the instructor is asking the students questions, try to answer at least some of
them. Alternatively, you can attempt to answer the questions within
your own mind. If you prefer, you can jot down your answer on paper. You will
know if you are correct, when the instructor or a student provides the correct
answer. With this strategy, no one will know when you are incorrect.
Note Taking Skills
Practicing Note Taking with Videos, to
Improve Your Skills
can improve your note taking by practicing. You can practice by taking notes
while you are listening to web-based videos from YouTube,
and other sources. You can repeat the video, to check the quality of your note
taking. It is best to use videos that relate to courses that you are taking,
or will be taking in the upcoming semesters.
you are persistent with this practice, in a few months, you will become
skillful at note taking. However, before you start practicing note taking, you
should be certain that you are using the right technique. (Note taking techniques
were described above, and there are a large number of additional
techniques presented on the websites at the end of this chapter.) Keep in
mind, that practicing incorrect techniques can be counterproductive. As you
practice, try to improve the techniques that you are using, based on your
experience during the practice sessions. The idea here is to improve the techniques
you are using, so they work better for your individual abilities, and
Note, the ideas in the above paragraph applied to any type of
practice. This includes skill development for any type of academic,
vocational, or sports related activities.
An abundant source of videos to
practice note taking, can be obtained from the following: 1) www.Google.com/videohp,
and 4) www.Mashpedia.com, 5) https://video.search.Yahoo.com
all of the above are useful for obtaining videos on almost any topic. The
websites listed above, should be useful for all of your coursework.
See the Following Websites from other
Authors for Additional Information, and for Alternative Perspectives on Note
Taking, and Related Concepts
Taking Systems, 2) FIVE
NOTETAKING METHODS, 3) Back
to Basics: Perfect Your Note-Taking Techniques,
Taking Techniques, Tips and Strategies, 5) Note
Taking Techniques, 6) EFFECTIVE
NOTE-TAKING METHODS, 7) The
Cornell Note-taking System, 8) Note-Taking
Techniques for Academic Success, 9) Advice
for Students: Taking Notes that Work, 10) Listening and Note
Taking, 11) Video: How to take Cornell
notes, 12) Video: LBCC - Taking
Better Lecture Notes, 13) Video: Study
Skills for Students: Mastering Note Taking,
14) Video: How to Take Great
Notes, 15) How
to Actively Learn During Lectures, 16) Learning
From Lectures: A Guide to University Learning
(The above is a 25 page e‑book), 17) MAKING
THE MOST OF LECTURES, 18) Op-Ed:
Students Don't Learn From Lectures, 19) Rethinking
the Way College Students Are Taught.
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Chapter 18) Lectures and
Note Taking, With Active Learning Strategies
Access Additional Information with Hyperlinks.
Learning for Lectures, with Note Taking
Passive Learning, Associated with Lectures, Can be Converted to
Active Learning, with Good Note Taking Strategies
Note Taking Strategy, Facilitates Active Learning
and Rewriting Your Notes After Class
Word, 2010 or Later, for Rewriting Notes
for Lectures, will Facilitate Learning and Better Note Taking
Strategies for Note Taking
Class Lectures, and
Taking Notes After Class from a Recording
to Note Taking that You Should Avoid
If You are
Not Taking Notes in Class, Use Alternative Strategies to Maintain Active
Learning During a Lecture
Your Note Taking Skills
Note Taking with Videos, to Improve Your Skills
Following Websites from other Authors for Additional Information, and for
Alternative Perspectives on Note Taking, and Related Concepts
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