Learning In Lectures

College instructors often use lectures to supplement or clarify what you have studied in your textbook. These lectures are an important way of helping you to understand and remember course-related information. Therefore, you need to be able to take notes that will record the important points made by the lecturer so they can be used as study materials when you are preparing for an exam.

To help you develop your lecture note-taking skills, this session will cover

  • Introduction to effective listening
  • Principles of good note-taking
  • Three methods of note-taking
    • Cornell (two column)
    • Mapping
    • Outlining

Effective Listening

"Listening – I don't have any problems with that" is what you are probably saying. We all think we can listen, yet many students have problems doing it effectively. Learning in lectures depends heavily on a student's ability to listen.

Blocks To Listening

  1. Lack of interest – Your attitude toward a subject can get in the way of your listening.

  2. Dislike of the instructor – This dislike can block your listening. The instructor's mannerism may also be distracting.

  3. Inability to concentrate - Letting your mind wander to personal problems such as assignments, your job, or a hundred other things will prevent you from listening.

  4. Distractions – A room that is too warm or an air hammer working outside are obvious blocks to listening.

Given the potential blocks, what can you do to improve your listening skills?

Managing Classroom Listening

When you step into a classroom, there is one basic question you must answer. "Do I want to listen?" Nobody can force you to listen. Listening is voluntary. Furthermore, it's not enough to say, "Okay, I'm committed. I'm willing to focus my undivided attention in one direction. I want to listen in class." Your desire to listen must match an ability to listen.