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6 Strategies for Taking High-Quality Notes

The below article targets college students, but the same concepts apply to adult learners, staff members. Some great strategies for how staff can walk away from professional development events with good information. 

Students take notes in class.

 

In my practice as a professor, I’ve noticed an anecdotal difference between the notes that my A and C students take during lectures. According to one study, students who take notes in an interactive fashion are more likely than those who record what they hear verbatim to be engaged in metacognition (thinking and evaluating one’s thought processes and understanding) and self-regulation (managing one’s behaviors for optimal results). And these two processes are more likely to lead to deeper processing.

The good news is that teachers can show their students how to take better notes. Even better, good note-taking activities are themselves learning processes that can help students think metacognitively about their own studying, and can improve their retention of course material. A virtuous cycle!

Six Powerful Note-Taking Strategies

1. Organize the blank page. 

2. Putting in time is important.

3. Pen beats computer.

4. Make use of the margins.

5. Rereading is essential. 

6. Use abbreviations for speed

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