6 November 2019

Study Skills - Taking Notes

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

With distractions and demands pulling our time away, it is no wonder that students may feel overwhelmed and in despair as deadlines for submitting assignments approach. Whether it is a writing task, preparing a presentation, or simply another assignment, taking small bites at a time helps. Those small bites, in the form of notes, are often a student's best friend when it comes to studying and revising. 

Notes can be taken by hand, with a digital device or in many cases, a more fluid and inter-changeable approach is taken by using both hand written notes and notes on a laptop or mobile device. Often enough, teachers have to persuade learners about the benefits of taking notes and then guide them on different note-taking approaches. 


Here are some resources when guiding learners through the need of taking notes for their studies.


The UBC Learning Commons offers  learning support for academic students and  has a page on Note-Taking and also for Presentation Skills  , as well as Study Tips for Exams.

The Cornell Note-Taking System





Cornell Note Taking — The Best Way To Take Notes Explained


So far, so expected.

However, visual note-taking is also a popular approach to taking notes and one that many students enjoy:



If visual notes appeal to you and/or your students, then a must follow is the Canadian teacher, Sylvia Duckworth, who has recently published How to Sketchnote (Book 2) - a manual on visual notes.

If something is worth knowing, then it is often worth spending time and effort in learning. Taking notes is not only a boring task to give students (especially in EAP); note-taking is a short cut when learning,  and is also a skill which students will need in their future careers.

Saying which approach is best.... well, just like sweets and colours, that depends on each individual.






Further Suggestions: 


The Ultimate Guide to Note Taking in Class Infographic (with the above infographic and accompanying notes)

Note-taking with a Scheme

Visual Note Taking in the Classroom

The Power of Visual Notetaking: Empowering EAL Student Learning in the Classroom

On Not Settling the ‘Paper vs. Digital Notes’ Debate

Handwriting vs. Typing: How to Choose the Best Method to Take Notes

5 Advantages of Taking Digital Handwritten Notes

Skills and Strategies | Doodling, Sketching and ‘Mind Mapping’ as Learning Tools

A Quick & Dirty Guide to Perfect Digital Note-Taking

Perfecting the art of thinking? Try sketching out your ideas

Image by  kim-e-sens



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