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Note taking method

  1. Aug 27, 2006 #1
    What do you guys think about this method:

    Listen to a lecture very carefully (and recording it), and understand everything the professor is teaching. Then try to recall what the professor said by writing it down on a piece of paper. And if you forget some parts of the lecture, you can go back and listen to the parts that need some clarification.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2006 #2
    That sounds like an effective way of keeping up with the professor. I'd do that if I weren't so lazy. :P
  4. Aug 27, 2006 #3
    That would be fantastic if you could pull it off. A couple caveats though:

    1) In physics courses a lot of time can be devoted to calculations and things written/drawn on the chalkboard. It might be a good idea to jot down these things in a notebook. (Have you tried listening to the Feynman lectures on audio? They're great, but it's not quite the same as seeing the things he writes on the board.)

    2) This may not be the most time-efficient approach. It takes more time to recreate a lectre from memory + audio than it does to sit down and listen to the lecture. So you're at least doubling the amount of time doing lecture. You still have problem sets and maybe discussion sections to attend. There's some pooint where it's better for you to use this time to take another course or do research or go outside and play instead of rewriting notes.
  5. Aug 27, 2006 #4
    Then probably the best solution would to take some notes (but not write down everything the professor says), and record the lectures for backup (i.e. studying for tests and stuff)?

  6. Aug 27, 2006 #5


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    Presumably, the point of the exercise isn't simply to produce notes -- an exercise like this would better test your understanding of what you learned.

    I actually do something a little similar to this -- but instead I try to figure out where the lecture's going before it gets there, and I will try and prove theorems / work examples during the lecture before the teacher can give away the key ideas.
  7. Aug 27, 2006 #6
    yeah, I guess taking notes of key ideas (i.e. stuff written on the board) combined with recording should be good. Because, not taking any notes at all would require me to keep listening to the lecture again and again.
  8. Aug 29, 2006 #7


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    Have you tried listening to a lecture from a recording?

    The vocal is usually frequently broken and not easy to follow.

    Plus, you should ask your lecturer's permission before recording them - some don't mind but some may take offence.

    Best way is to write down the lecture as it's going on and then to rewrite the lecture at home.
  9. Aug 30, 2006 #8
    As previously mentioned audio recordings are often of poor quality and are time consuming to "reload" the information (especially if you're searching through the tape for one small part in the middle of the lecture :grumpy:).

    What I like to do is do all the reading and preparation (ala Hurkyl-style) prior to the lecture. This way, during lecture I can sit back and actually listen/understand what the Professor is saying. I only take notes on things I haven't already done on my own, and things not covered in the text, like for example a more elegant proof, or an alternate interpretation, etc... I also make a brief list of the topics covered so I know what is likely to show up on an exam :wink: .
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  10. Aug 30, 2006 #9
    nope ...just take notes ...on less by remembering you mean using some sort of mneumonic techniques....which in that case u would be more focused .....but i think u could just make notes...try mind mapping ..it works .....any proofs or derivations can be written on the back of the sheet..and in between while everybodies still writing u have time to readover what uve written on the board and even memorise if u have to (want to ).

    plz tell me wat u think ....ps i havent read through all the comments
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