Study Skills: Strategies for Taking Notes and for Learning Content Coll 100
American Military University
Strategies for Taking Notes and for Learning Content
There are two environments which are conducive for note-taking; lecture and written lessons. There are several different note-taking methods which are beneficial to the specific need of the student (Boch & Piolat, 2005). These methods are Cornell, charting, mind mapping, outlining and highlighting (All Kinds of Minds, 2013). With these methods students will overcome the obstacles of successful understanding (Jones & Mort, 1994). Nwokoreze (1990) believes that "it is during the note-taking stage that students reach the highest level of comprehension" (p. 42). Effective note-taking skills promotes increased learning and memorization ability (Jones & Mort,1994). Basic note taking skills are taught starting in elementary school ( All kinds of Minds, 2013). Students are taught how to transcribe notes placed on the board, this simple technique is referred to as “sentence writing” (All kinds Of Minds, 2013). It isn’t until Middle or Junior High School that students are taught actual note-taking techniques (Bosh & Piolat , 2005). In High School students learn the importance of good note-taking, and how note taking promotes a better understanding of material and improves grades (Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). Effective note-taking from lectures and readings is an essential skill for university students as well (Jones & Mort, 1994). It allows students to gather information from lectures, books, or any other situation that they will later have to memorize or use in order to successfully complete their academic program (Boch & Piolat, 2005). Good note taking allows a permanent record for revision and a register of relevant points that you can integrate with your own writing and speaking (Jones & Mort, 1994). It is a useful technique in studying content, developing language skills, and learning tasks in general (White, 1996).
Taking notes during a lecture will require a different note-taking method than taking notes from a handout of a book (Massey University, 2012). In a lecture the student may not have the opportunity to take down all the information given by the instructor (Boch & Piolat, 2005). The average writing speed of a student is around 0.3 to 0.4 words/ second, whereas a lecturer speaks at a rate of around 2 to 3 words/second (Boch & Piolat, 2005). Students are at risk of missing important information if they are not also good listeners (Rahmani & Sadeghi, 2011). When taking notes from written material the student should pay close attention to key words and important details that may be useful in triggering memorization (All Kinds of Minds, 2013). In both cases these methods are helpful only when utilized properly. Finding the right method for the task is the key to success. Graphic organizers are a preferred method of note taking (Massey University, 2012). In graphic organizers, concepts are presented in a visual format, that is, the relative location of concepts and the relations among them are represented in a graphic format (Rahmani &Sadeghi, 2011). In fact, they show, rather than describe, the organization of concepts (Robinson & Schraw, 1994). The Cornell Method is the most effective graphic organizer (All kinds of Minds, 2013). Massey University (2012) explains:
It is based on two columns: one containing the keyword or concept, and the other containing the description or notes associated with the keyword or concept. This method can be used while listening to the lecturer. In the right hand column, list the main ideas or write a paragraph and then on the left hand side note the keyword or concept that relates to the section of notes. At the bottom of the page write paragraphs summarizing the information contained in the notes. (para. 1). According to Kennedy (2000), “Cornell Notes are a simple and efficient...
References: All Kinds of Minds. (1999-2013). Taking Good Notes: Impact of Attention, Memory, Language, Spatial and Sequential Ordering, Motor Functions and Higher Order Cognition.
Retrieved from http://allkindsofminds.org/discover-all-kindsof-minds.
Boch, P., Piolat, A. (2005). Note Taking and Learning: A Summary of Research. The WAC
Jones, G., & Mort, P. (1994). Note-Taking Skills: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.lc.unswedu.au
Massey University. (2012). Retrieved from http://owll.massey.ac.nz/study-skills/note-taking-methods.php
Nwokoreze, U.N.D (1990). Note-taking. English Teaching Forum, 33(2), 39-40
Kennedy. (2000). California Polytechnic University. Retrieved from http://www.sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/notetaking.systems.html
Rahmani, M., & Sadeghi, K. (2011). Effects of Note-Taking on Reading Comprehension and Recall. Reading Matrix, 9(2), 116-128.
White, C.J. (1996). Note-Taking and Traces of Cognition in Language Learning. RELC Journal, 27, 89-102.
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