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Getting the most out of lectures

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1 Getting the most out of lectures
Karen Dellar Study Skills Advisor Study & Learning Centre RMIT University

2 Being there RMIT University

3 How do I learn in a lecture?􀂃
Be an active learner􀂃 Lectures are just one component of the course􀂃 Do not treat it as a stand alone item RMIT University

4 Outline of session What you should do before and after lectures
Active Listening: What is important – what you should note Note-taking methods organization systems abbreviations RMIT University

5 Discuss How long should you spend preparing for the lecture?
Before the lecture Discuss How long should you spend preparing for the lecture? This stage shoudl take about ½ hour

6 Lecture preparation What do you think you could do to prepare for lectures? RMIT University

7 Before the Lecture Get an overview.
Do not do detailed reading at this stage. RMIT University

8 Before the lecture Check the unit outline for topic
Skim text / main reading for week Read through PowerPoint notes for lecture (if available) Check key words in subject specific dictionary Ask yourself: What is this topic mainly about? How does it fit into previous work? Skim on public transport; the material will then sound familiar in lectures so you won’t feel lost. PowerPoint notes may not be available RMIT University

9 During the Lecture Active Listening

10 During the lecture Sit close to the front: watch and listen carefully.
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11 During the lecture Listen actively for structure. Does the lecturer:
Begin with a review of the previous lecture? Use an introduction to outline the lecture? Use main points to structure the body of the lecture? Give examples to illustrate ideas? Summarise the lecture in the conclusion? Give further references for additional information? Discover the organisational pattern for the lecture. Listen to how lecturers say what they say. Discover the organisational plan for the lecture. Listen to how lecturers say what they say. RMIT University

12 During the lecture Don’t write everything. RMIT University

13 During the lecture- What to note
. Discriminate between main points and supporting information Concentrate on principles and arguments With PowerPoint notes – highlight, underline and make additional notes RMIT University

14 What is important? Notes/references on whiteboard
Repetition Repetition Repetition Repetition Emphasis = tone of voice or gestures time spent on a point number of examples used Reviews at beginning of lecture Summaries at the end RMIT University

15 What is important? Write down anything the lecturer numbers. Lists, steps and sequences are often on exams Note when the lecturer uses key phrases like: “I can’t emphasise enough…” “The most important event was…” “Two points to remember are…” “You will need to know….” RMIT University

16 Listen for language signals to show:
Important points “This is central…” “The most significant aspect…” Examples “This is illustrated by…” “An example of this is…” Reasons “This is because…” Consequences “Therefore…” “As a result…” Changes to a new topic ‘Let’s move to another concern for educators” RMIT University

17 After the lecture Discuss:
What are some things you can do after the lecture to ensure you understand and remember important points?

18 After the lecture In a group
Compare lecture notes: Are your notes clear and complete? Discuss content RMIT University

19 After the lecture (within 12 hrs)
Rewrite your notes More explicitly Draw diagrams, make a visual summary. Make a summary for exam purposes. RMIT University

20 After the lecture (within days)
Consult (or at least locate) references given in lecture. Read (or at least file) the articles / photocopies in context. RMIT University

21 After the lecture Listen again if you have recorded the lecture.
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22 Systems and techniques
Note taking Systems and techniques

23 Task : Find notes you have taken for a lecture
Check to see if you have used a system consistently Is it still easy for you to pick out the main ideas/issues in your notes from the examples and supporting details? Can you see the relationship between the ideas and easily follow the information contained in your notes? RMIT University

24 Reasons for taking notes
Helps you to concentrate and assists understanding Provides a gauge for what is important when reading for assignments and revising for exams Writing helps you remember key points Notes in your own words are easier to remember Provides a structure to develop a topic further RMIT University

25 Get your notes organized
Lecture 3 June 5th Page 2 RMIT University

26 Strategies for lecture note-taking
Keep lecture notes on each subject in a separate folder (or in separate parts of the folder) Note title of lecture and date Begin a new page for each lecture Write on one side of the paper Number the pages Leave wide margins and space for additions RMIT University

27 Note-taking techniques
The outline method: One idea per line Indent details, less important ideas Some students use a numbering system RMIT University

28 Example of outline method
1) Main idea 1.1 subtopic * example 1.2 subtopic *details *example 2) Main idea 2.1 subtopic 2.2 subtopic RMIT University

29 Divided page method Divide page into two columns
Left Column -main idea, key terms Right Column - definitions, examples, supporting details This is useful for vocabulary lists E.g. OUTER EAR function direct sound waves to tympanic membrane anatomy pinna, auditory canal RMIT University

30 The Cornell Note-taking System
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31 Cornell Note taking Record the lecture using short sentences
Questions: formulate questions and write in RH side column Recite: Cover the notes and answer the questions/cue words aloud Reflect: What does it all mean??? Summarize: After class, at the bottom of the page Review: every week RMIT University

32 Note-taking techniques
MAPPING TECHNIQUES Each main idea has related details branching from it. E.g TOPIC MAIN Idea MAIN Point Explanation Example Example There are several methods students can use when taking notes. Most students use a combination of techniques to suit the purpose of their notetaking and the lecture material. There are several methods students can use when taking notes. Most students use a combination of techniques. RMIT University

33 RMIT University

34 Note taking Essentials
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35 Using space effectively
Performance Is our most manageable resource (not heredity or environment) school employer personality Too much emphasis on one’s IQ Results from Butt’s study on twins * genetic * discredited in 1973 RMIT University

36 USE ABBREVIATIONS: 1. To show relative importance of ideas
Large OR UPPER CASE LETTERS underline key words highlight for emphasis Circle important ideas 2. To show connections between ideas arrows circles RMIT University

37 Abbreviations To identify information you did not understand
question marks ?? exclamation marks !! spelling not known (sp) look up later (lul) RMIT University

38 More Abbreviations To condense notes and make notetaking more efficient use words/phrases rather than complete sentences. Use accepted abbreviations in general use, and those for your subject areas eg for example ie that is def definition w/o without > increase = equal < decrease & and Devise your own abbreviations for commonly used words in your subject area dept department strtg strategy ref references diff difference RMIT University

39 How would you advise these students?
“His lectures are so boring I can’t keep awake.” “It was only when I re-read my notes that her lecture made sense.” “You were able to take notes – you must be joking!” “I have never heard half of the terms before.” “I didn’t realise she was giving a summary when she said ‘Now to recap’…”. “He confused me with all those examples and stories. What was he on about?” RMIT University

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