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Take The University Challenge

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Presentation on theme: "Take The University Challenge"— Presentation transcript:

1 Take The University Challenge
Listening, Notetaking, and Reading Critically The Academic Skills Centre Trent University

2 For Both Reading and Listening…
Avoid Being Passive! Listen actively at lectures Read your texts actively For both, this means thinking about the material and taking notes for understanding (what is this about?) and analysis (why does this matter?)

3 For Both Reading and Listening…
The best results come from working through three steps: Prepare Reading: survey reading Lecture: finish week’s readings beforehand Be an active learner Think Take notes Ask questions Review Summarize Check your understanding

4 Strategies for reading

5 Reading Critically Read Actively and Engage with the Text
for regular course readings and for essay research this process facilitates critical thinking and participation in academic discussion Understand Context refer to the syllabus – course objectives & themes, schedule & workload make connections – relationship between readings, lectures, tutorials, & assignments

6 Reading Process Skim or pre-read Read for understanding
Read actively and analytically Take notes Reflect on what you have read

7 Types of texts Argumentative articles & books Empirical articles
present a thesis or specific argument, supported by evidence and analysis Empirical articles offer a reporting of an experiment often following a particular structure: intro, methods, results, discussion Text books offer information rather than argument give a broader sense of the field (e.g., theoretical concepts, terminology, applied frameworks)

8 Reading Process, Step 1 Pre-Reading: Mapping the Text
Read the title carefully Read the abstract and/or intro (preface) Read the summary, conclusion or discussion Skim 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

9 Reading Process, Step 2 Read for Understanding
Reading for Understanding means making sure that you understand Key words: Key ideas: the thesis or main argument, research question and findings It also means, making sure you understand and note How 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?

10 Reading 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.

11 Reading Process, Step 4 Take Notes
Consider the purpose Consider course themes, reading objective (e.g., lecture, paper, seminar) Adjust strategies to work best for you Be selective Set yourself a limit and don’t recopy the reading Take notes by section Use headings made from your first survey of the reading Ask 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, or developed When finished reading, put away and write short response to it, one or two sentences

12 Reading 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

13 Learning from lectures
How to take meaningful notes, not just a transcription of the entire lecture. Learning from lectures

14 Why 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 important Note-taking helps your memory

15 Prepare to Listen Read 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.

16 Be an Active Listener Go to lectures & be prepared
Sit where you can hear & avoid distractions Don’t multi-task & try to concentrate

17 Be 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.

18 Try the Cornell System This system advises using a two-column note sheet, one column much wider than the other In wide column, write lecture notes In narrow column, write key words and questions or thoughts as you take the notes and as you review them In space at bottom, summarize your notes on the page in one or two lines right after lecture when you first review the notes

19 sample

20 What’s Important? Pay attention to these cues.
Material that is repeated – the same idea, topic or theme is presented several times emphasized by tone and gesture, by the amount of time spent on a point or examples listed or described in a process included in the end-of-lecture summary written on the blackboard

21 Make 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.

22 The 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.

23 10 minutes well spent Take 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.

24 Prepare for Next Lecture by Completing the Assigned Readings
Review Clarify 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

25 Active Learning Fire up your brain! Be engaged with your classes.
Prepare. Think. Ask questions. Write.

26 Come 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 appointments Book an appointment through the Online Appointment Booking System: OR visit us during our Library Drop-In Hours! The Academic Skills Centre Check out our online resources.

27 Give Notetaking a Try Prof. Steve Joordens, U of T Psychology: "Critical Thinking” (video clip)

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