We begin again
Today marks the end of Week 1 of Term 2, does anyone else feel like it went really slowly? Things are a little different this term to what we’ve become used to. Lectures are back to being in person! This is something I have been looking forward to since it was first announced last year. I don’t know about you, but I really struggled with virtual learning and pre-recorded lectures. Now we’re getting back into in-person, we all need to adapt back into taking notes in lectures and seminars and for some people, it might not be something they are used to!
As a third year, taking notes is not something I ever perfected, and I don’t think I ever will. However, I’ve managed to find a way that works enough for me so I don’t feel as behind or confused. So, here are a few tips and ways of taking notes in lectures that I have tried over the past 3 years!
- Printing off the slides: A lot of lecturers (At least in my experience), release the lecture slides beforehand so you can look at them or have access to them prior to the lecture. One method that I tried is printing off the slides and annotating them during the lecture! Sometimes without the slides, you tend to write everything that the lecturer says down and not all of it is needed, so you end up missing things or writing/typing so fast that you lose track of what the lecturer is saying. Having the slides there means you can write down things that the lecturer says without needed to write everything down that is already on the slide.
- Making notes on the slides: This method is similar to the first one, however instead of printing off the slides, you annotate on the presentation. At the bottom of each slides, there is a “notes” section which means you can type anything extra that the lecturer says related to each slide. This will significantly reduce the amount you actually have to write and it also means that you can highlight important things on the slides.
- Handwriting your notes: If you’re super speedy and have really neat handwriting, you could go the traditional way and handwrite your notes on a piece of paper. It’s a really good way to ensure that the information actually goes into your brain and this method does work for a lot of people because you have to think about what you’re writing.
- Microsoft One Note: This is my lifesaver and my favourite way to write notes. You get to colour code each section and break down your lectures into further sections and this is how I write my notes. Microsoft One Note is free and for me, it’s the way I find best to write my notes! You can have “folders” for each academic year so all your notes are separated and this has been the way I’ve written my notes out for over a year. The notes are always backed up into your Microsoft account so you can access them on any device by simply just logging in and the notes just look so pristine and clean! As you can tell, I love Microsoft One Note. It was introduced to me by some friends of mine and I have never looked back (Thank you to them).
The point is, it’s quite hard to find a way to make notes and ensure that they are readable, especially after having online learning for so long. The way that you made notes for online learning may not work as well for in person, and if they do, well, that’s great for you. For me, writing notes on OneNote has worked both in person and online (I also just really enjoy colour coding my work).
I hope you had a lovely Week 1 and are feeling excited about the prospect of in person teaching again! Hopefully it means we’re going back to some form of normality soon.