Do you try to transcribe everything the teacher says (until your hand cramps)? There is a better way! Let's go over some strategies for effectively capturing information in the fast-paced world of Nursing School.
Handwritten Notes or Typed Notes?
Typed NotesTyped notes have definite advantages, but let's look at some of the strengths: Speed: Typing is faster than writing. If you are the student trying to transcribe everything said in the classroom, typing might be the method to use. Legibility: Some people have terrible handwriting that they cannot read who really should type their notes. The ability to search an online notebook or document is terrific, too. Accessibility: No need to worry if you brought your notebook while waiting at the Dentist's office. Just whip out that tablet or phone and read, annotate, or edit. Organization: Copy and paste. Drag and drop. Sort and file. E-notes make it simple to organize your notes, to pull in relevant web sources, to use copies of class PowerPoints.
Written notesWritten notes seem to have the upper hand, here's why: Distraction: Written notes do not lead to distractions in the way that an electronic device can — unless you doodle excessively, but doodling is not as distracting as your Amazon shopping list. Processing: Most people do not write as fast as they type. This forces the brain to process material when it is heard to determine what is relevant, what is key information to write. Retention: Writing notes promotes encoding. This is the first step in creating a memory. The encoding process involves the brain converting information into a more usable form in the memory. Recall: Seeing personal handwriting cues the brain to recreate associated thoughts from the learning period, deepening connections within the brain and making information retrieval easier.
The Best of Both Worlds?Stylus technologies that work with laptops and tablets, along with ingenious inventions from Livescribe, are changing the way written and typed notes can interact with the note taker. These technologies integrate typing, writing, and audio-playback in ways that make learning infinitely customizable. This area of technology will continue to grow in fun and increasingly more useful ways. However, just like buying a home gym machine will not make you a body builder and downloading the Lose It app will not make you thinner, having incredible technology will not make you a better learner. Really consider how you learn best.
Everyday Note TakingThe Cornell note taking method has a few variations, but the main premise is that there is a section for notes, a section for thoughts called cues, and a section to integrate both called summaries.
- Notes: Lecture notes, short sentences or phrases, lists, abbreviations or shorthand.
- Cues: Thoughts, main ideas, questions, connections, study prompts.
- Summaries: Summarize, main ideas, tie the notes together, create idea integration.
- Obtain and use a pen with three or more colors in it. I keep one in primary colors and one in bright colors.
- The written text is always print or written in black and on the left.
- What the prof says in class regarding the class material, text material, or in response to your questions (notes) is always color 1 (maybe always in red like the New Testament).
- Your questions or comments on class and text material (cues) is always color 2 (always blue, for example).
- Your summary should be at the bottom and in color 3 (maybe always purple because that is your favorite color).
Using Power Point/Slide Print Outs
- (Left side-Print/Black) print slides 3 to a page.
- (Right side- Color 1) write what the prof says in the rt column where the lines print out, only write key words or phrases.
- (Middle - Color 2) write personal notes in the spaces between slides in color 2, this is essentially your cues column.
- (Anywhere - Color 2) circle or star muddy points in a different color so you know to go back and review, this provides additional cues.
- (Bottom - Color 3) leave a space at the very bottom or top for consolidating notes and ideas.
- (Left side - Print/Black) make an outline of material to be covered (be brief and intentional, or this will take all your time).
- (Right side - Color 2) your muddy points, questions, comments...be brief.
- (Anywhere - Color 1) what the prof says to address these points
- (Bottom - Color 3) - summarize at the bottom of the page