Back to Class: Note-Taking Skills

“Back to Class” means something different during a global pandemic. New face masks, hand sanitizer, laptops, and headphones fill online shopping carts, and thousands of educators nationwide are welcoming their students through a screen instead of in a classroom.

Nevertheless, faculty are as dedicated as ever to the success of their students. In a series of “Back to Class” posts, I’m sharing some resources that faculty can use with their students—whether in a classroom or a virtual learning environment—to support deeper engagement and learning.

In August, I shared resources you can use with your students to discuss the importance of a growth mindset and to help your students study smarter.

Note-taking Skills

I have recently received an influx of requests to help students take better notes—and actually use them. According to Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel (2014), getting new learning into your long-term memory is a three-step process:

1. Encoding of information
2. Consolidation
3. Retrieval

When should your students take notes?

The answer: whenever there is information being shared that will be important to remember. That could occur while reading for the course, or when listening to a lecture or presentation. This downloadable slide deck includes some useful information about the benefits of taking notes, as well as some note-taking tips you can share with your students.

This planning guide, Teaching Powerful Note-taking, can be used to help you motivate students to take notes.

Laurie Pendleton

Have a great class!


Laurie Pendleton, Executive Director of Curriculum and Assessment, ACUE






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