Teaching Powerful Note-Taking Skills

In this module, faculty learn how to motivate students to take notes and effectively support note-taking by sharing pointers, providing skeletal outlines, allowing processing time, and using cues to signal important points.

To satisfy the module requirements, practicing faculty must apply at least one technique, such as sharing research that supports the benefits of note-taking, teaching students how to take notes, or providing a skeletal outline.

This module is one of five modules under ACUE’s unit on Promoting Higher Order Thinking.

Advising Subject Matter Expert

Linda Nilson
Founding Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation
Clemson University

Module References

Bligh, D. A. (2000). What’s the use of lectures? San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Boye, A. (2012). Note-taking in the 21st century: Tips for instructors and students. Retrieved from https://www.depts.ttu.edu/

Broderick, B. (1990). Groundwork for college reading. West Berlin, NJ: Townsend Press.

Carrier, C. A. (1983). Notetaking research implications for the classroom. Journal of Instructional Development, 6(3), 19–26.

Cohen, D., Kim, E., Tan, J., & Winkelmes, M. (2013). A note-restructuring intervention increases students’ exam scores. College Teaching, 61, 95–99.

Cottrell, S. (2008). Palgrave study skills: The study skills handbook (3rd ed.). Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.

DeZure, D., Kaplan, M., & Deerman, M. A. (2001). Research on student notetaking: Implications for faculty and graduate student instructors. Retrieved from http://www.math.lsa.umich.edu/

Heward, W. L. (n.d.). Guided notes: Improving the effectiveness of your lectures. Retrieved from

Huxham, M. (2010). The medium makes the message: Effects of cues on students’ lecture notes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 11, 179–188.

Intervention Central. (n.d.). Guided notes: Increasing student engagement during lecture and assigned readings. Retrieved from http://www.interventioncentral.org/

Johnstone, A. H., & Su, W. Y. (1994). Lectures—A learning experience? Education in Chemistry, 35, 76–79.

Kauffman, D. F., Zhao, R., & Yang, Y.-S. (2011). Effects of online note taking formats and
self-monitoring prompts on learning from online text: Using technology to enhance
self-regulated learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 313–322.

Kiewra, K. A. (1985). Providing the instructor’s notes: An effective addition to student notetaking. Educational Psychologist, 20, 33–39.

Kiewra, K. A. (2005). Learn how to study and SOAR to success. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Kiewra, K. A., DuBois, N., Christian, D., McShane, A., Meyerhoffer, M., & Roskelley, D. (1991).
Note-taking functions and techniques. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 240–245.

Langan, J. (2007). Reading and student skills (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Longman, D. G., & Atkinson, R. H. (1999). College learning and study skills. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Marsh, E. J., & Sink, H. E. (2010). Access to handouts of presentation slides during lecture: Consequences for learning. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 691–706.

McKeachie, W. J. (1994). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (9th ed.). Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath.

Medina, J. (2014). Brain rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school (Updated and expanded 2nd ed.). Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 25, 1159–1168.

Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Peper, R. J., & Mayer, R. E. (1978). Note-taking as a generative activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 514–522.

Potts, B. (1993). Improving the quality of student notes. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 3(8).

Rotenberg, R. L. (2010). The art & craft of college teaching: A guide for new professors & graduate students (2nd ed.). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Stefanou, C., Hoffman, L., & Vielee, N. (2008). Note-taking in the college classroom as evidence of generative learning. Learning Environments Research, 11, 1–17.

Stutts, K. J., Beverly, M. M., & Kelley, S. F. (2013). Evaluation of note taking method on academic performance in undergraduate animal science courses. NACTA Journal, 57(3), 38–39.

University of Nebraska. (n.d.). Teaching students to take better notes: Notes on notetaking. Retrieved from http://www.unl.edu/