Posted in Classroom Ideas, Food for Thought, Teaching Techniques

Guided Note Taking

I love the idea of guided note taking. I’ve always been the type of student who wants to write everything in a presentation down; that’s just how I’m wired. And sometimes it’s hard to write down everything that’s on the board and listen to the professor and actually learn something. There are probably many ways to work around the dilemma, but I’m partial to the idea of guided note taking.

Here’s how it works. Make your presentation. Your PowerPoint or Google Slides or whatever it may be. Then make another copy. Take out the really important parts – key words, statistics, diagram labels. Whatever it is. Print out this copy – the one with the blanks. Give that copy to students. Allow them to fill in the important information, but don’t make them worry about the fluff. They’ll take better notes, pay more attention, and really learn the material because they aren’t panicking. (This is my theory at least.)

So give it a shot. See how it works for you. Maybe guided note taking isn’t the best fit. But I think it’s great to try something new, something a little different, and see if there’s a way to make it work. You certainly have nothing to lose.



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