Saturday, April 2, 2011

Notes and Note taking

So what CAN we do to boost student learning?  Some years ago I had to teach an introductory physical science course.  In order to force students to take notes I had them keep notebooks which I then periodically collected and graded.  I found these to be quite poor.  I know that I was never taught to take notes and I suspect our current crop of students weren't either.  Probably more time should be devoted to notes and note taking.  (By the way, student notes are not the same thing as teachers notes.  My notes for my lectures remind me WHAT to talk about, the ORDER in which I want to talk about things, and the details of some difficult topics, but they would not be good STUDENT notes.  What you record when you are first learning a subject is something rather different. My notes are more about how to present things.  Student notes should be more content oriented. My research notes and files might be a better model for what student lecture notes should look like.)

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