Listening, Note-Taking and Participation
In virtually every college class you take, you’ll need to master two skills to earn high grades:
listening and note-taking.
Note taking is important because your instructors are likely to introduce new material in class that
your text may not cover and chances are that much of this material will resurface on quizzes or exams.
Some helpful tips for assuring that you will retain what is important from class are:
Tape lectures, but be sure to ask the instructor
Choose note-taking system that works for you.
Be aware that some or what the instructor
say may mot be in the text
Since writing everything is not possible,
Make it a habit to review notes with other
Speak up! People tend to remember what they
have said more than what others are saying to them.
LISTENING AND FORGETTING
you noticed how easy it is to remember the words of a song? WHY?
(a) Often times the words in a song have a personal meaning to us
(b) Because the words in the song usually follow a tune and have a beat we can repeat over and over
(c) We relate the words in the song to something in our lives
forgetting takes place within the first 24 hours after you see or hear something. If
you do not immediately review after class, if may be difficult to retrieve the material you been given later. In two weeks you will have forgotten up to 70% percent of the material.
USING YOUR SENSES IN THE LEARNING PROCESS
You can enhance your memory by using as many of your senses as possible while learning. How do you believe you learn most effectively?
TWO OR THREE OF THE CATEGORIES LISTED BELOW PROBABLY DESCRIBES YOUR PREFERRED WAYS OF LEARNING BETTER
THAN THE OTHERS
Aural (learn best by listening)
Visual (learn best by seeing)
Interactive (learn best by discussing with others)
best by sense of touch, typing your notes)
(learn best by doing, participating, body in motion)
of taste or smell contribute to your learning)
BEFORE CLASS: PREPARE TO REMEMBER
would not want to walk into class unprepared. You can take a number of active
learning steps to make your listening and note-taking more efficient. WHAT ARE
SOME STEPS THE TEXT LIST?
the assigned reading before class
close attention to your course syllabus
an open mind
to track your progress
DURING CLASS: LISTEN CRITICALLY
in class is not like listening to TV or listening to a friend. Know how to listen
in class can help you get more out of what you hear. Here are some suggestions:
· Listen for the main concepts and central ideas not fragment facts
· Listen for new ideas
· Decide whether what you heard is very important, somewhat important,
or not very important.
· Ask question and respect your own ideas and those of others
TAKING EFFECTIVE NOTES
cam make class time more productive by using you listening skills to take effective notes, but first you have to decide on
a system that works and that you can understand. Here are some suggested systems:
Cornell Format (create
a recall column on page of notes by drawing a line)
Outline Format (most widely used, Roman numeral listing key ideas)
Paragraph Format (writing detail paragraphs summarizing topic)
(good for listing terms and definitions, facts or sequences)
NOTE TAKING TECHNIQUES
method you use, remember “Don’t try to write down everything”.
using power-point or overhead transparencies generally will have important stuff in italics, bold or repeat the information
you take notes, leave between lines so later you can fill in additional details that you might have missed during class.
concise, organized notes help you stay focused on the main ideas of a lecture thus better preparing you to study only the
important information for exams.
AFTER CLASS: RESPOND, RECITE, REVIEW
let the forgetting curve we talked about earlier take its toil on you (most forgetting
take place within twenty four hours after you see or hear something).
soon after class as possible, review your notes and fill in the details you still remember, but missed writing down in those
spaces you left between the lines.
of the best ways to remember an information is to recite or teach it to someone else.
You will understand something better and remember it longer if yu try to explain it.
these three important steps for remembering the key points in a class lecture:
· Write the main idea in the recall column of notes
· Use the recall column to recite your ideas
· Review the previous day’s notes just before the next class session
three ways to engage with the material will pay off later, when you begin to study for your exams.
COMPARING AND RECOPYING NOTES
may be able to improve you notes by comparing notes with another student or in a study group.
Are your notes as clear and concise as other students? Do you agree on
the important points that should be included in the recall column?
comparing notes is not the same as copying somebody else’s notes. You simply
cannot learn as well from someone else’s notes no matter how good they are.
students choose to copy their own notes as a means of review.
PARTICIPATING IN CLASS: SPEAK UP!
is not a spectator sport. To really learn, you must talk about what you are learning,
write about it, relate it to past experiences, and make what you learn part of yourself.
is the heart of learning. When we say something in class, we are more likely
to remember it than when someone else say it. When a teacher tosses a question
your way, or when you have a question to ask, you’re actually making it easier to remember the day’s lesson.
are more likely to participate if the teacher emphasizes discussion, calls on you by name and avoid criticizing you for an
in mind that most good critical thinking classes have not right or wrong answer. A
good instructor simply wants you to give considerable thought to your answers and be able to support them with evidence.
“SO LEARN TO SPEAK UP”
EXERCISE 6.1 Using Your
Five Senses to Learn: Individually refer to page 107 in this chapter and decide
which two modes of learning seem to work best for you: aural, visual, interactive, tactile, kinesthetic, or olfactory.
prepared to orally share your answers with the class and explain why you learn in this particular way as oppose to other methods.