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Tips for better note-taking during your online classes

Online Manipal Editorial Team | December 14, 2021

Online study in India is more prevalent than before, owing to the onset of the pandemic. Students are adapted to a new method of learning. Be it an online class or classroom education, taking notes is essential to understand the concept and the subject effectively. Taking notes is an integral part of pursuing your online degree classes. 

Note-taking

Note-taking is the process of jotting down the critical points during an online lecture. Recording the key points/important points helps the student recall the concepts and explanations in an effective method. Notes can either be hand-written or typed on the desktop/laptop during the lecture. They can be revisited any time in the future. A student can effectively complete an online degree course when they take proper notes.

Why note-taking?

Note-taking has positively impacted learning and the topic in the student’s memory. It makes the student pay attention to the lecture/video on the course content. 40% of the new information we read or hear is lost within the first 24 hours. If the students take notes, they are indirectly training their brain to remember a few key points, and thus no vital information is lost, or it can constantly be revisited. Note-taking also enhances the rate at which the brain retains the data, and it gets better with practice. A recent research from WEF also supports the same.

Few key benefits of note-taking:

  • Easy retention of key points in a lecture
  • Students get a better understanding when they revisit their notes
  • Noting down a few points given by the lecture which might not be in their course material helps in better understanding of the subject
  • Revisiting of the notes/key points in the future (even after years of completing the course)
  • The notes can be passed down to our juniors/peers or referred to anytime required.

How to take notes?

It is better to take hand-written notes than typing the notes on the computer during an online class. Do not take notes of all points in the presentation/lecture. Make sure to annotate the important points that have been repeated or stressed more by the professor. Use markers to highlight the major points, which will help in the future to skim the notes. There are five types of note-taking:

  • Tri-section method: Note-taking is divided into three sections -one for notes, questions, and one part to summarize the student’s understanding of the subject.
  • Outline method: having a brief of the topic divided into headings and subheadings
  • Visual representation: If you are at a loss of words for taking notes, a visual representation of the topic using flowcharts and pie diagrams can be used.
  • Key points: Dividing the concept in the page according to the sub-headings and noting down the key points under each topic.
  • Freestyle: It is the normal method of taking notes in sentences or key points under one heading.

If you don’t prefer to take hand-written notes, there are a few applications that can help take notes and store them for future purposes. Applications like Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote are integrated with their respective document repository and can be synced for future purposes. Evernote app helps record images and other visual representations. Video and audio files can also be stored and bookmarked. The software can be used with Windows, MAC, iOS, and Android.

Conclusion

What is done after note-taking determines how effective the process was for the student. The student must always go through the notes immediately once the class is over, as it helps retain the information effectively. Any doubts must be noted down and cleared then and there with the professor or the faculty. It is important to rearrange the notes in the order the students would be examined for understanding the flow better. Revision and revisiting the notes taken help us much better in remembering the concept and critical points.

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