Time management

Attending lectures

Recording your lecture

Good notes help you to recall the context as well as the contents of the lecture, so don't rely only on handouts. Taking notes will help you maintain concentration throughout the lecture as you actively seek to identify the key points.

How to make notes

  • Write down facts and references as they are presented, often in the same form.
  • Concepts-concepts require a degree of analysis and interpretation of the material.

Linear notes- leave enough space between lines and blocks of ideas so that you can go back and annotate. Use different coloured pens to show relationships.
Mind maps (or‘spider grams’) -helpful for drawing links between concepts.

Factors that influence the effectiveness of note-taking may include:

  • the lecture topic;
  • the nature of hand-outs (if given);
  • the nature of any visual material presented;
  • the design of the lecture theatre;
  • the style of the lecturer.

Identify the factors which have a negative impact on your note-taking, and learn to compensate by asking more questions or audio recording the lectures.

Remember:

React to what is being said.  Write down questions, highlight areas that aren’t clear, and learn to investigate these later.

Selecting information

  • Experimenting and identifying the style of note-taking that suits you best will help you to develop the habit of identifying the useful information.
  • You can’t write down everything the lecturer says, so you will have to develop the habit of doing some work on the notes after the lecture.

Tips

  • Draw a balance between writing and listening; the more you write the less you listen.
  • Record the main points: fill in the detail after the lecture.
  • Lecturers use OHPs for their benefit as well as for yours; only record what you need.
  • Always print and bring presentation slides if the lecturer makes them available in advance
  • Sit where you can see and hear clearly.
  • Think about making an audio recording of a lecture and write it up later. Always ask permission to record the lecture.