Why Students Should Be Taking Notes

Students nowadays can be pretty demanding about wanting the teacher’s PowerPoints, lecture notes, and other written forms of the content presented in class. And a lot of teachers are supplying those, in part trying to be responsive to students but also because many students now lack note-taking skills. If they can’t take good notes, why not help them succeed by supplying them with notes?

The problem is that “the ability to take in information and make it one’s own by processing it, restructuring it, and then presenting it in a form so that it can be understood by others (or by oneself at a later point)” is one of those “basic skills” that is useful throughout life. (p. 95) If students don’t have that skill or have a feeble version of it and they never take notes, when does the skill get developed? “With PowerPoint summaries, students have the product—good notes—but skip the process—the actual taking and reconstructing of notes.” (p. 95)

There is also accumulating evidence (the article below references seven studies) that giving students teacher-prepared notes or PowerPoint slides does not improve their performance. Students need to take notes in ways that are meaningful to them. It also helps when notes are restructured. The material presented in class is usually ordered in a linear fashion. “It makes sense to return to one’s notes and organize them in a way that reflects the connections between ideas rather than simply the chronology of presentation.” (p. 95)

by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/students-taking-notes/#sthash.JFAtcnuJ.dpuf

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