We have found that taking notes during a lecture is often a daunting task for students. Many have missed the practice in note taking that they would have experienced in the secondary classroom. We stress the importance of note taking as a study strategy they will need to hone as we talk through the PPT presentation, The Note Taking Process. Students receive a packet of handouts that include the PPT, online articles, Cornell Notes pages, a syllabus, chapters and study notes. This is an excellent opportunity to talk about everything from what professors expect of their students as far as classroom behavior to accessing resources online for the class.
Our activities are completed in the context of an actual university course on physics. The first activity focuses on summarizing and then they practice taking notes using the Cornell method on topics that they will need to be familiar with when we visit the classroom. We have learned about the conservation of energy, Newton’s laws, the isotropic property of space and forces, kinetic and potential energy – areas in science where students often have little background knowledge. Our content depends on where the professor is in the lecture series, so communication with the professor is important as preparation is necessary to include the correct content for study and test preparation. This contextual simulation includes note taking, study skills, classroom attendance and a quiz over physics content.
Note taking is one of the topics students can learn more about in the Academic Success Moodle if they would like to acquire additional approaches to becoming a successful student.
ABLE instructors can also download the Eureka lesson plan, Taking Notes for Class, for use in their ABLE transitions classrooms. Students find the key ideas in a short biography and practice the note taking strategies of SQ3R, Cornell and outlining.