Are you a student at a university and are having trouble with your academics? Are you having trouble keeping up with lectures and have to find university module notes to fill in what you have missed? If you are struggling with your note-taking, this should be a good read for you.
One of the most effective strategies that successful university students adopt is to take down notes effectively. Whether you are at a college or university, note-taking will significantly improve subject test scores and help you understand your lessons. Even if you are a great listener, you cannot remember every important concept, details, dates, or information that your professor discussed in class. Proper note-taking techniques will allow you to write a gist of what was said and give you cues for recalling important information during lectures. Likewise, sharing notes among your peers will give you the benefit of completing your notes if you dozed off, or your attention was somewhere else.
The Importance of Taking Down Notes. There are a lot of students who think that taking down notes in class is a waste of time. Why take down notes when you can google the information anyway? Although you can indeed search for information about your lessons on Google, taking down notes while listening to your professors will help you to develop a system for studying. Howe (1970) and Longman and Atkinson (1999) found that information that was written as lecture notes had a thirty-four per cent chance of being remembered as compared to only five per cent when not contained in notes. Here are some of the other benefits of proper note-taking.
Better Organisation of Study Material. When you take down notes, you are getting the gist of what is being said, and you can organise them into a system that you can easily remember. For example, you can create block diagrams and graphs from the information you jotted down during lectures to better organise your study material for future reference.
Enhancement of Listening and Focus. When you know that you need to take down notes, you will learn how to focus more on what is being said. This ability to focus will improve your listening skills and your critical thinking skills. When you make a habit of taking down notes during classes, you will eventually notice that you can concentrate better and not easily get distracted. This mental ability will be useful to you in your future jobs.
Promotes Active Learning. Experts reveal that taking notes by hand is better than typing them on a laptop. While it is easier to type notes into a computer, you are not developing your generative listening skills; instead, you may type the professors’ lecture word-for-word without understanding them. On the other hand, writing down your notes promotes active learning because your mind is already summarising the information you hear and can write shorter and concise notes.
The Need to Share Notes
You may have been taking down notes in every class. However, sharing your notes with your peers may be beneficial to you in the long run. If you missed a class for valid reasons, you might find university module notes to help get you up to speed. Sharing notes may lead to a win-win situation where you can form a small study group to help you succeed in university life.