The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW workshop lectures new students on how to be lectured

By Marc Hutchinson/reporter

Students filled the room at Dr. Jason M. Frawley’s seminar Taking Good Notes Sept. 14 during the NW Campus student success seminars.

Frawley, social sciences associate professor, reinforced six simple tips for note taking.

Tip number one was to prepare for class. Frawley said students should read their assignments and stay ahead of the teacher in their readings. This allows the student to actually understand what the teacher is talking about. Preparation for every class is important and key for good note taking, he said.

Tip number two was to eliminate distractions.

“If you’re not eliminating distractions,” he said, “you’re doing it wrong.”

Frawley suggests getting rid of all the things that could be considered a distraction.

To increase their chances for success, Frawley said students should turn off cell phones, not sit next to people that will distract them and not get on the Internet during class.

Tip number three was to listen attentively. Frawley said students tend to struggle with this one more than any other. In many classes, he said students tend to be uninterested in the subject matter. 

“You have to figure out a reason to make what the professor is saying to you important,” he said. “Find a reason to make it personal.”

Frawley said it may not always be fun or interesting, but the only way to succeed in good note taking is to take a general interest in what the professor is saying.

Tip number four was to write down the instructor’s actual words. Frawley said students tend to fall into a habit of just writing down what the teacher puts up on the PowerPoint, but it does no good if the student has no clue what the slide meant.

Many PowerPoints are just one-word summaries of what the professor teaches in their own words, Frawley said.

Students must summarize the teacher’s explanations, using the presentations more as guides for notes.

Tip number five is knowing what to write. What’s on the PowerPoints is not always what is most important, Frawley said. Most teachers develop a pattern or routine when they have something they want students to know. Students should figure out their professor’s routine so they can write down what is important.

Tip number six was to stay organized. Frawley said students would be amazed how far just keeping their notes in order can go for them. One proven system is the Cornell Note-Taking System that allows for organization, studying and ease.

“Studies have been shown that when professors are using PowerPoints as a teaching device, they say about 100 words per minute,” he said. “On average, a student can only write down 30 words per minute.”

Jonathan Klingenberg attended the seminar and found it useful.

“It was an easy and practical seminar that applied note taking to my life,” he said.

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