Students who take notes during a lecture or presentation achieve more than those who just passively listen.
Note-taking makes one's attention focused on the ideas being discussed, and also leads to a review of the lesson being taught. It is a good idea to take complete and detailed notes, as one study shows that the more note the students take, the higher is their achievement. Omitting details or examples is common among students, but is not advisable.
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When the instructor says 'this is important' or 'note this', or gives a non-verbal cue that the content being discussed is important, it can enhance the student's note-taking. They can also listen to the cues to help them organize their lessons.
Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.
Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.
Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.
Preparation steps before a note-taking session:
In an experiment, students were given Ted Talks to watch and were told to take notes, half with laptops, the other with pen and paper.
Even in an age where laptops rule, notetaking is still the tool of choice for highly successful students, entrepreneurs, and leaders.
Tim Ferris attributes his notetaking style as one of the most important skills of his success. Bill Gates and Richard Branson are both fanatic note-takers.
There isn't a one-size-fits-all note-taking strategy, you have to find one that is right for you.
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