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Note Taking in Class

Systems and methods for better note taking that lead to faster learning.

Important Omissions in Notes

From Kiewra, Kenneth. “Note Taking on Trial: A Legal Application of Note-Taking Research.” Educational Psychology Review 28, no. 2 (June 2016): 377–84. doi:10.1007/s10648-015-9353-z.

  • Individuals record notes that capture and preserve just a small portion of presented information, and not always accurately (Crawford 1925).
  • Individuals listening to a presentation stop recording notes when visual aids are shown (Maddox and Hoole 1975).
  • Individuals given copies of a lesson’s PowerPoint slides in advance of that lesson report recording fewer notes than those not given the slides (Nouri and Shahis 2008). 
  • Individuals rarely take notes when others ask questions (Maddox and Hoole 1975).
  • Individuals who are familiar with a topic record fewer notes than those who are less familiar with a topic (Trevors et al. 2014; Van Meter et al. 1994).
  • Individuals participating in small group business meetings record notes at a rate well below that found in the educational setting (Kiewra et al. 1991b). 
  • Individuals do not capture most details in notes  (Kiewra et al. 1987). 
  • Individuals often omit context from their handwritten notes (Titsworth and Kiewra 2004).
  • Individuals also omit essential qualifiers from handwritten notes (Maddox and Hoole 1975).