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Intended Learning Outcome:

To take notes that can be referred to & used in & out of class


When students take notes by hand research shows that they can learn more effectively. Cornell’s method can help students to structure the page and make a more comprehensive set of notes. (There are many other methods available to use).


Before the session begins, explain to students that they will need to take notes for the activity which will happen in the session.

Explain how to structure the page (see the handout on how to do this). You may wish to provide pens and paper to ensure everyone can take part.

Recap on last week’s session and write up notes on the board demonstrating the Cornell style: making a left margin, asking what questions, problems and thoughts they had about it and making a summary.

Deliver the knowledge learning for the current session and ask students to take notes in the Cornell style.

Set a task appropriate to the session that the students will need to use their notes for.

Discuss how the process was and what improvements students could make to their note-taking. (You may want to look at different note-taking methods at this point).


Make any slides you use uncluttered and free from lots of facts so what you teach students in the room is the key to the learning. Students who rely on slides on the VLE for knowledge are less likely to attend. Once students understand that attendance and note-taking is key to your module they will be more likely to take part. Make this a default in your sessions from week one for the best results.


Large Group Teaching:

All students can take notes in this way. When setting the task you may wish to put them into small groups depending on your class size.

Online Teaching:


Students will take notes of their own accord and not be reliant on the VLE/slides to provide all information.

Next Steps:

Carry on encouraging students to take notes and asking them to use them in class as well as out of class.

Towards the end of the module ask students to refer back to their notes as part of their revision/assignment preparation of appropriate.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:

See the BIMM Study Skills Guide for more on note-taking (in the Note Taking chapter)

Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away – Article about research into handwritten notes:




Template to take notes onto: 

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