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Studying Do People Actually Read The Notes They Take In Class?

  1. Jun 14, 2016 #1
    I am curious to know whether or not people on this forum read/review their notes taken in lecture? I have never reviewed notes taken in class. I do quite well in my classes. I do ask questions, participate in lecture, and always go to office hours. I do write lectures notes, but it seems that it is pointless for me. I always read a section or two before every class meeting. I attempted to solve problems. When I go to lecture, most of the questions I had while reading are answered. I do not use solutions manuals, so I spend a lot of time on things before they are demonstrated in class. I also use at least two books for every course.

    However, I do make my own notes for books I am self learning from. Often times, I write in my books.

    Am I the only one here that finds taking notes in lecture pointless?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2016 #2

    Orodruin

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    Taking notes is up to personal preference and different people will learn by doing different things. Personally, I never took notes during lectures. I found that it distracted me from anticipating the trail of thought, which is more important for me.

    I tried taking notes when I started university, but I never went back to them and it did not help me understand better. If you are like me, simply do not take notes. It is an individual preference and you have to find the method that helps you learn better.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2016 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Yes, take notes. Almost always.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2016 #4

    Orodruin

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    This is quite a blanket statement. Why should he, or anyone else, take notes if it does not help their learning?
     
  6. Jun 14, 2016 #5

    symbolipoint

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    You think I lied? I rely heavily on taking notes. I rely heavily on textbooks. The question was, does anybody rely on taking and reading notes from class. YES. I DO AND THIS HAS NEARLY ALWAYS BEEN MY PRACTICE.
     
  7. Jun 14, 2016 #6

    Orodruin

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    Your response seems to suggest that the OP should be taking notes. There are also several questions in the OP and it is not a priori clear which one you are replying to.

    Also, there is no need to be screaming.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2016 #7
    I look back at notes and chapters all the time.

    edit: CAPS = screaming? It's probably just a harmless emphasis.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2016 #8

    symbolipoint

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    It's between shouting and emphasis. How much the original poster will need to rely on reading his notes, only he can decide. I needed to make my own notes during class-time. If MidgetDwarf did not need to take and read notes, then I believe him.

    ( Now rereading, O.P. on this is MidgetDwarf. Notice, he prepared himself for class exceptionally well and for this, he did not find a need for taking notes in class.)
     
  10. Jun 14, 2016 #9

    Orodruin

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    This is the general appearance and typical netiquette interpretation, yes.

    Which was exactly the opposite of what I think your first post conveyed, unless you accidentally left out an "I". "Yes, I take notes. Almost always." To me, your first post read as a statement that the OP (and people in general) should always take notes.
     
  11. Jun 14, 2016 #10

    SteamKing

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    Anywho, aside from personalities, sometimes professors lecture off the reservation, so to speak. They cover material which is not in the textbook, or they wish to cover a particular aspect of a topic more thoroughly than it is treated in the text. You have to take notes in these situations, otherwise, what are you going to study for the exam?

    When I went to school, some of the professors lectured extensively from their own personal notebooks, to which students did not have access except by taking their own notes in class. In other cases, textbooks were loaned to the students for the term and had to be returned when the class was completed. If you didn't take notes, you couldn't preserve what was important for reference later.
     
  12. Jun 14, 2016 #11
    I also do not take notes in lesson, but I do from the book. In lesson, if you write notes, it tends to be many pages. I like to make sure my notes for one topic can fit on a single side of A4 paper.
     
  13. Jun 14, 2016 #12

    martinbn

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    I am like Orodruin, never took notes at lectures nor seminars. When I tried I could never write all that I wanted and sometimes I couldn't follow. But I know people that cannot listen to a talk without taking notes. They say it helps them follow, for me it is the other way around. I also know people that can latex their notes during the lecture/talk and at the end of the lecture have notes better than the speaker. That's beyond me.
     
  14. Jun 14, 2016 #13
    It depends on the content being covered, but I generally copy down examples and also anything that may go against my intuition or at least isn't completely obvious to me. But for a lot of courses, I find taking notes detracts from the learning in the class. I could much more efficiently learn it by reading the textbook or relevant notes online before the class and/or after.
     
  15. Jun 14, 2016 #14
    The funny thing is I never read the notes ( but I take them) when I'm in the class. However, I've had the habit of referring back to my old notes for something else completely. Kind of glad I take them, it's nice to have them. Writing things down helps me retain information a lot of times.
     
  16. Jun 14, 2016 #15

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    Yes. For my biology class, there was no textbook. Every week, the topics were given and we had to do our own research. The teacher always provided resources, of course, but they varied weekly depending on the topic. The teacher then made everybody write notes (we had a certain format of doing so) whenever we studied or attended lab. By the end of the class, everyone had 2.5 inch binders completely stuffed with handwritten/self-typed notes, vocabulary, and labs with procedures explained. It was literally like we had each made our own personal textbook and it helped me learn a lot.

    For lecture-based courses and seminars, I cannot write notes properly (or at least what I think to be proper notes), so I generally only pay attention to the speaker and sporadically write down the most key points (or the points where the teacher hints will find its way to the midterm/final). But I wouldn't call it note-taking. Also, I have a habit of doodling, so I sometimes doodle little comic strips about whatever I'm listening to. That's probably not very good, but for now it has not done any harm.
     
  17. Jun 14, 2016 #16
    I take notes on everything covered in class. I usually do not look back at them unless I forgot some minor detail. For me, the act of writing out the information causes me to remember it better.
     
  18. Jun 14, 2016 #17

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    Wow, do you have a shorthand way of writing them? Note-takers always say to devise a shorthand way of writing, but I cannot figure out how.
     
  19. Jun 14, 2016 #18
    No, the key is that, if the information is being conveyed particularly quickly, it forces me to process it and reword it in a more concise manner. This has the benefit of requiring that I understand the material when it's first taught.

    I take very extensive notes, though. If there's a step that isn't obvious that I feel the teacher didn't explain well enough, I make my own note of it and expand on the argument. The whole point is that writing down the information allows me to slow down and think about what the professor is saying as opposed to nodding and tricking myself into thinking I understand. I do the same thing when reading a textbook. It might just work for me; I don't know.

    This is probably easier to do in math-heavy courses, as the information content is much more sense--in a history class you've just gotta write like crazy! In physics and engineering, you can take your time a bit more.
     
  20. Jun 14, 2016 #19

    ProfuselyQuarky

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    You're one of those :) On one extreme you have students trying to chew gum without the speaker noticing and the other extreme is people who spend the entire class vigorously scribbling away.
    This is really nice. I suppose I could try making more detailed notes myself. The issue is writing fast, as I cannot stand illegible penmanship. My penmanship is not great, but I hate, hate, HATE (@Orodruin yes, I'm yelling, sorry) sloppy writing. I've literally rewritten pages and pages of lab reports because I could not stand how they looked.

    EDIT: And I don't find typing notes as effective as writing them on paper.
     
  21. Jun 14, 2016 #20
    I am actually pretty slow and have a short attention span, so I write down notes and later piece the whole thing together from them and my textbook. I also read the relevant textbook portions before the class else I have a hard time understanding.

    It really comes down to personal preference though..
     
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