I am puzzled by how few notes students take in class these days… Maybe you have better memory than me!

I want to introduce you to a different way of taking notes – a visual way. Please browse these sets on flicks to see what sketchnotes look like:

And then, look at these slides about how to take sketchnotes and why:

What is your note taking strategy? Do you take notes? Why? Why not? How do you take notes? How do you decide what’s worth writing down and what isn’t? How do you show links and connections between ideas in your notes?

  1. It is an effect of internet usage on Millennials’s behavior. We rarely take notes because we thought that we can go back to the content whenever we want. I know that sometime that is not true, but it is what we feel. Check this out.
    By the way, I took notes on important concepts in my own understanding and some details that I may forget for later review. I did not make connections between them.

  2. Interesting… but if you don’t have a basic understanding of concepts, how will you even know what to search for later?

    • That is why we try to understand those concepts in class instead of spend those time taking notes. Personally, I jot down important keywords for later search and reference. I also saw some of my friends searched for those keywords in class. Those laptop are not only for twitter and facebook!

      • Good to know…

        Research shows, however, that students who multitask in class on class-related topics learn even less than those who multitask by goofing off on social media. See: Hembrooke, H., & Gay, G. (2003). The laptop and the lecture: The effects of multitasking in learning environments. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 15(1), 46–64.

        And also: Fried, C. B. (2008). In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Computers & Education, 50(3), 906–914.

    • jtheuerl
    • September 17th, 2013

    I feel that students are not physically writing down notes in class anymore for three of the following reasons:
    1. Blackboard, these forms of technology has advanced peoples need to in fact take notes. Usually professors post slide shows for each lecture and they are accessible at any given moment of any day. I can reference slide shows in five minutes time rather than referencing my notes that probably has missing information because I could not keep up with the professor.
    2. To piggyback off of blackboard, many people print out the PowerPoints and take a few notes on the slides while following around in class.
    3. Notepad, most students take their computers with them to class and take notes on Google Keep, Notepad, Evernote, Word, or other programs.
    I have never been talented enough to take visual notes. I have never felt time to in fact get down all the information I want to write down while including pictures. I also am an orderly person who really appreciates an outline format of my notes, I know exactly where to follow along. In sketchnotes I never know where to look and it overwhelms me. This is my personal note taking preference as a college student.

    • I agree with you, J, on the non-sequential nature of sketchnotes (and time consumption!). They are one option, and it might work for some people, some of the time.

      In graduate classes, or in classes where lecture is not the dominant form of instruction, note taking becomes much more important, I think – since there is no powerpoint to go by. So, looking at our class, how do you remember what we did/learned in class and what you want to take away?

  3. I think practice and implementation is what drives it home in our course. The key points that we are learning about are the ones we must use in our assignments. Personally, I thought this is an interesting style of taking notes because it seems like the perfect way for those that of a scatter-brained creative style would go about retaining information (Me, for example, and I’m gonna try this!).

    But, I do understand that not everybody in our course has the same style of notetaking. Some folk are more organized than others, some are more detail-oriented than others. Some learn better by listening and watching, some learn better by writing.

    The assignment factor, however, forces us to really try to understand the concepts and their meaning. I think that’s what drives the information we learn in class home.

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