Presentation on theme: "Take The University Challenge"— Presentation transcript:
1Take The University Challenge Listening, Notetaking, andReading CriticallyThe Academic Skills CentreTrent University
2For Both Reading and Listening… Avoid Being Passive!Listen actively at lecturesRead your texts activelyFor both, this means thinking about the material and taking notes for understanding (what is this about?) and analysis (why does this matter?)
3For Both Reading and Listening… The best results come from working through three steps:PrepareReading: survey readingLecture: finish week’s readings beforehandBe an active learnerThinkTake notesAsk questionsReviewSummarizeCheck your understanding
5Reading Critically Read Actively and Engage with the Text for regular course readings and for essay researchthis process facilitates critical thinking and participation in academic discussionUnderstand Contextrefer to the syllabus – course objectives & themes, schedule & workloadmake connections – relationship between readings, lectures, tutorials, & assignments
6Reading Process Skim or pre-read Read for understanding Read actively and analyticallyTake notesReflect on what you have read
7Types of texts Argumentative articles & books Empirical articles present a thesis or specific argument, supported by evidence and analysisEmpirical articlesoffer a reporting of an experimentoften following a particular structure: intro, methods, results, discussionText booksoffer information rather than argumentgive a broader sense of the field (e.g., theoretical concepts, terminology, applied frameworks)
8Reading Process, Step 1 Pre-Reading: Mapping the Text Read the title carefullyRead the abstract and/or intro (preface)Read the summary, conclusion or discussionSkim through looking for main ideas: note headings, illustrations, tables, graphs, etc.articles: headers in articles, paragraphs following headers, topic sentences of each paragraph,books: intro and concluding paragraphs of each chapter, also check book cover
9Reading Process, Step 2 Read for Understanding Reading for Understanding means making sure that you understandKey words:Key ideas: the thesis or main argument, research question and findingsIt also means, making sure you understand and noteHow is the thesis, main argument is supported? What evidence is used?Or, for empirical articles,What methods were used? What was found? What are the implications?
10Reading Process, Step 3 Read Actively and Analytically Read critically – Ask questions!Ask questions of what you are reading: Is the reading factual or interpretative or a combination? What is the relationship between fact and interpretation?Ask questions about how an argument is developed, if evidence is valid, why particular methods were selected, how data were analyzed.Ask questions about how the information fits with the lecture, how it could be applied, your opinion about how it works/doesn’t work.
11Reading Process, Step 4 Take Notes Consider the purposeConsider course themes, reading objective (e.g., lecture, paper, seminar)Adjust strategies to work best for youBe selectiveSet yourself a limit and don’t recopy the readingTake notes by sectionUse headings made from your first survey of the readingAsk yourself, “What is the most important thing to remember from this paragraph? Or this section, or this chapter? What is its main idea?”Show how main ideas are illustrated or shown in examples, applied, ordevelopedWhen finished reading, put away and write short response to it, one or two sentences
12Reading Process, Step 5 Review Your Reading Notes Before class, whether lecture, workshop, seminar, briefly look over notes to prepare for upcoming class.If you have time, go back over notes from previous reading as well, so you can keep in mind the big picture
13Learning from lectures How to take meaningful notes, not just a transcription of the entire lecture.Learning from lectures
14Why Take Notes?Good lecture notes can end up being more practical, meaningful and up-to-date than a textbook.Taking and reviewing notes forces you to listen carefully, test your understanding, and determine what is importantNote-taking helps your memory
15Prepare to ListenRead the syllabus and your notes from previous lecture: think about where the lecture fits into the course.Read assigned chapters or articles.If PowerPoint slides are posted before, look them over and print them for the lecture to simplify your note taking.Note how readings and slides relate to the lecture ahead: don’t write the same thing down twice.
16Be an Active Listener Go to lectures & be prepared Sit where you can hear & avoid distractionsDon’t multi-task & try to concentrate
17Be Methodical and Organized Date your notes. Keep notes for one class together (folder, binder, notebook).Don’t write what you already know and what is elsewhere: fill in outlines or add to info on slides.Listen as much as write. Remember your goal is not to transcribe the lecture. Strive for 50/50 and don’t be distracted by writing/keying around you.Don’t write in sentences. Be brief.
18Try the Cornell SystemThis system advises using a two-column note sheet, one column much wider than the otherIn wide column, write lecture notesIn narrow column, write key words and questions or thoughts as you take the notes and as you review themIn space at bottom, summarize your notes on the page in one or two lines right after lecture when you first review the notes
20What’s Important? Pay attention to these cues. Material that isrepeated – the same idea, topic or theme is presented several timesemphasized by tone and gesture, by the amount of time spent on a point or exampleslisted or described in a processincluded in the end-of-lecture summarywritten on the blackboard
21Make Use of Power Point Slides Available before lecture: Review and print. Add your own notes to printed slides during lecture.Available after lecture: Review slides after lecture. Compare your notes to slides, and see how they complement each other.Don’t rely on slides alone – they are a tool to support a lecture, but they do not cover all of the material in a lecture.Note: Not every professor will use PowerPoint slides in a lecture.
22The Value of Webcasts: Review and Reinforcement Research has shown that lectures that have been posted afterwards as webcasts are useful as a way to reinforce or clarify information.Webcast software allows you to skip from one section to another, so you don’t have to listen to the lecture again in its entirety.Webcasts take the pressure of you as a notetaker.Lectures and webcast work best as complements to each other.
2310 minutes well spentTake 10 minutes to go over your notes after lecture while the info in still fresh in your mind. Studies show that without review 47% of what is learned is forgotten within 20 minutes.
24Prepare for Next Lecture by Completing the Assigned Readings ReviewClarify information. Compare your notes to PowerPoint slides.Write a two-line summary of the lecture.Reflect and respond to lecture by asking: How does it fit with readings & general course themes?Give your notes a title. It means you have understood them.Prepare for Next Lecture by Completing the Assigned Readings
25Active Learning Fire up your brain! Be engaged with your classes. Prepare. Think. Ask questions. Write.
26Come Talk to Us!Do you want to ask questions about something you heard today?Do you want an instructor to look at work you did during these sessions (sample thesis, lecture notes, paraphrase)?Come see us at the Academic Skills Centre!We have in-person and online appointmentsBook an appointment through the Online Appointment Booking System: OR visit us during our Library Drop-In Hours!The Academic Skills CentreCheck out our online resources.
27Give Notetaking a TryProf. Steve Joordens, U of T Psychology: "Critical Thinking” (video clip)