Note-making, not note-taking leads to high achievement
Hold back on the handouts (unless of course you intend to use them using an active reading method)
and consider the various ways that learners can make their own notes from
lectures, presentations, multi-media resources or websites.
Note-making is effective, taking a copy of the teacher’s notes and filing them away
Study Skills- teaching note-taking
For many students, the first time they are expected to ‘take notes’ during a presentation is in a rather
traditional A-level lesson, or when they sit in their first lecture at university.
It is typically assumed that students ‘know how to take notes’. The reality is somewhat different!
Student’s benefit from being shown how to take notes. With an effect size of d=0.99, note-taking offers
real value and deserves to be taught well. It should be considered a core study skill.
The Cornell or split-page methods
The Cornell system of note-taking well supports the engagement
with the materials being presented.
Students are asked to not only record the content delivered
in the presentation, but to actively review the information and
distil it into its key components.
There’s plenty of guidance on the Cornell method of note taking
on the web, and it’s very straight forward- but students do need
to be given the chance to practice using it.
The Cornell Method and variants provide a scaffold that allows students to structure the information
being delivered in a presentation, and to assist in the formation of constructs that form links between
The various Graphic Organisers discussed elsewhere on this website offer an alternative mechanism
through which the teacher can help such construct formation. The provision of an appropriately
designed Graphic Organiser would enhance learning linked to the materials covered in a presentation.
Further methods for making learning more active when used in conjunction with tradition lecture
formats are considered here.
These last words are from Marzano (1998):
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So... examine the evidence
So... adopt evidence-based methods
So... enhance learning