How to take Lecture Notes quickly

how to take lecture notes effectively and how to effectively take notes during lecture and how to take notes from lecture slides and how to write lecture notes faster
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Published Date:17-07-2017
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Student Academic Learning Services Page 1 of 16 Keys to Success A Student Academic Learning Services Workshop www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 2 of 16 What are Learning Skills? The skills and strategies that you can use to improve your academic experience are explained in the following topics: Do you have trouble keeping track of your assignments and Time Management & getting them in on time? The more organized you are, the Organization easier it is to meet assignment deadlines and improve your marks. Do you know how you learn best? Knowing how you learn Learning Styles will make your learning experience more productive and successful. Do you have trouble paying attention in class? Are your notes Listening & Note Taking difficult to study from because they’re unorganized and messy? Practice strategies to get more out of your lectures. Do you study for 3 hours, but only remember what you Study Strategies studied in the last 40 minutes? How you study is just as important as what you study. Do you have trouble remembering what you have learned? Memory Use strategies to improve your ability to remember what you study. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of reading? Can’t find Thinking & Reading the most important points? Use the SQ5R method to help you think logically and read critically. How do you prepare for tests? Improve your test marks by Preparing for Tests & knowing how to prepare for and write tests. Exams Are you feeling the pressure of it all? Using the strategies and Stress Management techniques described in this handout will help you manage and reduce your stress. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 3 of 16 Time Management & Organization: Start Off Organized No one is born with organizational skills; they must be learned and practiced. Organizing things and thoughts is a common task for many people. Organization involves creating routine and order with a sense of predictability. Make organization your habit through repetition. There are many aspects of school life over which students have little or no control. Students do; however, have control over things such as the organization of their class notes, binders, backpacks, lockers, homework and using time wisely to prepare for tests and exams. Tools for Organization  Semester timetable (a schedule for all your class times)  Course outline for each subject (a description of each course you are taking)  A binder for every subject  Dividers (to help keep your notes, assignments, and tests for each course organized)  Coloured highlighters (coloured markers used to highlight important information)  Agenda  Four month erasable calendar Organize Your Binder  Use a differently coloured binder for each subject.  Make a copy of your timetable for each binder.  Choose a colour for each subject – the same colour as the binder.  On your timetable, highlight (in the appropriate colour) the hours for each subject.  Put timetables in protective plastic sheets and put them at the front of each binder.  Put your course outline immediately after your timetable in each binder.  Use labeled dividers to separate notes, assignments, and tests. Organize Your Time  Most post secondary schools organize the semester by week (Week 1, Week 2, etc.). Label the weeks in your agenda.  Check all of your course outlines for due dates of assignments, quizzes, and tests, then mark the dates in your agenda using different colours for each.  Transfer the due dates to your four-month calendar again using different colours for each task.  Mark reminders for each one of your tasks a day, week or couple of weeks before the due date, depending on the difficulty of the task in your agenda ONLY.  Look at your semester timetable and schedule; write down your time for reviewing notes, working on assignments, studying, social time, and so on in your agenda. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 4 of 16 What is Your Learning Style? Make your learning experience more productive and successful by determining your learning style. Complete the online questionnaire at www.vark-learn.com to understand what kind of learner you are. Types of Learning Styles Visual Learners: learn through seeing These learners need to see the teacher's body language and facial expressions to fully understand the content of a lesson. They tend to prefer sitting at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. other people's heads). They may see pictures or images in their minds when they think and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs. During a lecture or classroom discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to help remember the information. Auditory Learners: learn through listening Auditory learners learn best through listening carefully to lectures, having discussions, as well as talking about the topic and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners understand the meanings of speech through listening to the tone, pitch, and speed of the voice. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud (speaking and reading at the same time) and using a tape recorder. Tactile Learners: learn through moving, doing and touching Tactile / Kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 5 of 16 How to Listen & Take Notes from a Lecture Anticipate what the lecturer will discuss:  Review notes from the previous lecture  Check course outline for lecture topics  Look to see if the lecture notes or PowerPoint for the lecture have been posted and are available for you to read  Complete all related readings before you go to class  Carefully read any handouts the teacher gives before or during the lecture Use the two-column format (see next page) and make organized notes:  Listen for main ideas by asking yourself, “What is the main point of this lecture?”  Listen for details by asking yourself, “Is this information connected to and supporting the main point of the lecture?”  Use abbreviations and simple sentences  Use lines and other visual markers to separate, emphasize and organize your notes Look for cues from the speaker:  Notice body language  Listen for signal and transition words such as: o -“The next…” o -“First…second…final…” o -“There are four reasons…”  Important information will be repeated or stressed by the speaker, be sure to make note of comments that are repeated or emphasized Be an active listener:  Sit close to the speaker so you can see and hear better  Leave space in your notes for information you missed and ask questions during or after the lecture  Use assistive technology such as voice recorders if needed Taken in part from http://www.landmarkoutreach.org/TwoColumnNote-takingMethod.htm www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 6 of 16 How to Take Two-Column Notes Write your name, date, & page here Write main ideas and sub List all the details here main ideas here  Use as few words as possible  Use abbreviations  Use coloured markers to connect details, underline and/or highlight important information  Leave spaces so that you can add Information later  Draw a line across the page to separate topics Review your notes as soon after the lecture as possible to add anything you may have missed. Fix your notes, make cue cards and review information. If you don’t review within 24 hours, you will have to relearn the information. Read your notes again in the evening and think of study questions. Write the questions in the bottom portion and make sure they correspond with the details in the right column. Hide the details by covering your notes and quiz yourself. Make ‘Flash Cards’ from the questions for reviewing. Make a note of the information you don’t understand in this space. Write study questions here. The focus of this area is for the information you do not understand completely. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 7 of 16 Study Strategies: The Dos and Don’ts for Studying The Dos (the things you should do to improve your studying)  Review your notes and cue cards daily  Study / review your notes in an environment that most closely resembles the test environment (sitting at a desk in a quiet place)  Try to do most of your studying during the time of day when you work best  Control the flow of information o Break your time into chunks (10 min for memorization and 45 min for intensive review, 5-10 min pause, repeat) o On study pauses, think of what you just studied. Give your brain time to process the information  Recite information aloud  Use effective memory strategies  Always create a picture in your mind (or on paper) about what you are studying  Review ‘key terms’ and special vocabulary before reading the text The Don’ts (the things you must not do when you are studying) Do NOT...  Study while listening to music  Study on your bed, at the kitchen table or in front of the TV  Study in large groups unless it is for review purposes  Watch TV, MSN, listen to music or read other material during study pauses  Eat too much  Leave all your studying until the night before the test  Stay up all night studying  Discuss the test with classmates just before the test www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 8 of 16 Memory: The Forgetting Curve The forgetting curve shows how quickly we forget over time. A typical graph of the forgetting curve shows that humans tend to lose half of their memory of newly learned knowledge in just a few days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material. 100% 0% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Days Day 0: At the end of the lecture you know and remember 100% of what you have learned in that lecture. Day 1: Your brain is constantly discarding (forgetting) information that seems unnecessary. If you did not review and think about what you learned, your brain will have lost about 50% of it 24 hours after you learned it. However, if you review the material (re-read, create questions, answer questions, discuss with instructor or classmates, self-quiz, etc.) your brain can quickly remember part of the material and re-learn the rest. It shouldn’t take you much more than 20 minutes to review an hour’s worth of lecture and bring yourself back up to 100%. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 % in Memory Student Academic Learning Services Page 9 of 16 Day 2: You haven’t reviewed yet? After two days without reviewing your notes, you will only remember about 25% of the information you learned in the lecture. You did review? Then you didn’t forget anywhere near as much as you did before (you have about 80% in memory). Why? You told your brain (through review & repetition) that the learning was important. However, reviewing just one time will not be enough. Luckily, reviewing today is much quicker and easier. Since you have reviewed your notes and can remember more, it may take as little as 10 minutes to review and re-learn the material. Day 3: If you have not reviewed in the three days since your lecture, you now have only 10-20% of the lecture in memory. If you have been doing daily review, you have close to 90% still in your memory. Congratulations Take 5 to 10 minutes to review it again and bring your memory back up to 100%. Notice in the graph above that through review and repetition, you have changed the rate at which you forget the material. You have successfully created stable, long-term memories. Also, each session of review has been quicker and easier because less information needs to be re-learned. Day 4: One more time won’t hurt… www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 10 of 16 Memory Memorization is an effective way to remember information by using your imagination and creativity. It is important to realize that while different memory strategies can be great tools to help you remember information, they do not help you to understand the material. Memory Strategies: Acronyms: Definition: Using the first letter of each word in a list to form a new word. Effective for remembering: Lists of people, places or things, and things or steps in a sequence Examples: ‘HOMES’ for remembering the names of each of the five Great Lakes (Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, etc.)” Acrostics: Definition: Using the first letter of a list of words to form a sentence. Effective for remembering: Lists of people, places or things, things or steps in a sequence Example: My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets (The first letter of each word represents a planet in the correct order – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars…). Chaining or Story Method: Definition: Creating a story where each word or idea signals the next idea you need to remember. Effective for remembering: Lists of people, places or things, things or steps in a sequence, as well as dates and events Example: to remember the following words: car, iceberg, kangaroo, dog, bicycle, and fire, you could create a story like this… My car drove into a big iceberg on the road home. The collision caused a kangaroo to tumble down. When it hopped away, our dog jumped out of its pouch and hit a man on a bicycle, who nearly rode into a big fire meant to melt the freak iceberg. The Key Word Method or “It Fits” Definition: Linking new learning with substitute words as keywords Effective for remembering: English vocabulary, foreign language vocabulary, names, dates and events Example: Unfamiliar word: BARRISTER, Familiar word: LAWYER, Keyword: BEAR. Visualize: a bear acting as a lawyer in a courtroom. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 11 of 16 Rhymes, Songs, or Poems Make up your own stories, sentences, rhymes, or poems. The crazier it is the better you will remember it. There are also a lot of well known ones such as: English spelling rule: ‘I before e except after c’ History: ‘In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.’ Math: For decimal rules: ‘Add and subtract, keep on tract; multiply and divide, move to the side.’ OR Quadratic Formula: Sing the following to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel” X is equal to negative b Plus or minus the square root Of b squared minus 4ac All over 2a The Journey Method Definition: Linking items to be remembered with specific locations in a room or on a walk. Effective for remembering: Lists of people, places or things, things or steps in a sequence, and dates and events Example: To remember the names of the ancient philosophers, you might imagine Socrates getting something from the fridge, Plato sitting at the kitchen table, Aristotle cooking at the stove, Parmenides looking through the cupboard etc. (You can also use Campus buildings to represent each item on your list). www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 12 of 16 Thinking & Reading Method: SQ5R Modified from http://www.conestogac.on.ca/learningcommons/learningskills/handouts/reading.pdf www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 13 of 16 Strategies for Success on Tests Arrive on Time Arriving on time (not too early) will help to avoid the "brain pickers," other students who ask you questions to which you may or may not know the answers. This can create needless anxiety right before the test. Do a Memory Dump As soon as you can, write down any information that you can remember about the subject. This will help you to avoid forgetting something once you feel some anxiety. Once you have done your initial memory dump, you may wish to quickly review it and do a second ‘memory dump’ of anything else that you have remembered. Read Directions Carefully By reading the instructions and questions very carefully, you will ensure that you are doing what you are supposed to do, and not wasting valuable time. Budget Time Wisely Quickly review the test to determine its format and the value of each question before you begin to decide how much time you will spend on each part of the test. Allow enough time for sections that may take more time or are worth more in the final grade. Do the Easiest Questions First Get yourself on a roll right away by answering the questions you know well. This will increase your confidence www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 14 of 16 Practice Relaxation Relaxation techniques can be useful during a test if you find that anxiety and stress are interfering with your performance. Some anxiety is good because it helps you perform better, but too much anxiety can reduce performance. Here are a few examples of relaxation techniques:  Muscle relaxation o Briefly tense your entire body by tensing and holding the muscles tight. o Take a deep breath and hold it. o Hold everything for 10 seconds. o Then, let go all at once and enjoy the wave of relaxation.  Breathing o With your eyes closed, shift your attention to the tip of your nose o As you breathe in, become aware of the air coming into your nostrils. o As you breathe out, be aware of the sensations of the air passing back out. o Cool air in, warm air out. o Focusing on a bodily process (air in and out) can help you calm down. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 15 of 16 Test Taking Strategies Different types of test questions require different approaches. Here are some techniques to keep in mind. True/False  The statement must be 100% true, not 50% true or even 99%, in order for it to be marked "true". This could be the difference of just one word, so read very carefully.  Because of this, false answers tend to be extreme in their wording and true answers moderate. o Usually ‘false’ key words: no, never, none, always, every, entirely, only o Usually ‘true’ key words: sometimes, often, frequently, ordinarily, generally  When in doubt, guess "true." You have a 50% chance of being right. Since the purpose of the exam is to test your knowledge of accurate information, tests tend to be weighted slightly toward true answers. Multiple Choice/Objective Tests  Read the directions very carefully, as you might be asked to select the one incorrect option or to choose more than one answer.  As with true/false questions, be sensitive to the wording of the question and answers. Is the wording extreme or moderate?  Eliminate any answers that are obviously wrong.  Choose the best answer, which is not necessarily the familiar answer. Try not to second- guess yourself (do not change your first answer – it is usually correct).  If you are stuck, select "all of the above," if that is an option. As with true/false questions, the purpose of the exam is to teach as well as test, so "all of the above" is correct slightly more often than you might expect. Short Answer  Use your initial survey of the test to decide how much time to spend thinking about and writing each of your responses. Also consider how much space is provided and how many points the question is worth.  Short answer responses require no introduction and should be brief and to the point.  Do not fall into the trap of elaborating on a short answer question because you feel confident of your response. Answer in a few words and continue on to the next question. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010 Student Academic Learning Services Page 16 of 16 Essays  Underline or circle the important words in the essay question. Be careful to note when more than one question is asked and which particular points must be addressed.  Carefully consider the exact meaning of the question. Are you asked to analyze, interpret or describe in your answer? These words have very specific meanings in essays, so be certain to answer appropriately.  Think before you write. Take a moment to construct a brief outline of your response. This will save you time and help you to keep your essay on topic.  If the essay asks you to answer multiple questions, number them on the sheet and be certain to address each in order. Each response should be the same length unless the question specifically requests otherwise. If you answer one half of the essay in three pages and the other half in one paragraph, you might only receive 60% credit for the entire essay.  Be concise. Avoid wordy, long sentences by using brief transition words, for example, accordingly, similarly, finally.  Avoid personal opinions. Your answers should be factual and cite supporting evidence unless otherwise requested.  If you are running out of time and have not done so already, outline the remaining points you wish to make in your essay. You might get partial credit for these concepts even if they are not presented in essay form.  Check your spelling and grammar when you are finished.  As you proofread your essay, ask yourself whether you have answered the question(s). If you have not, what points might you briefly insert or elaborate upon to improve the quality of your essay? Open Book Exams  Open book exams are sometimes given when a student needs to refer to charts or other materials in the text. You must prepare for an open book exam as thoroughly as you would for a closed book exam. You won't have time to re-read and look for formulas during the test.  Number and index your textbook so that the parts of it that you need to use are easy to find. www.durhamcollege.ca/sals Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204 905.721.2000 ext. 2491 This document last updated: 12/16/2010

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