Learning Development Service
Student Guidance Centre
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3618
Normal hours are Monday-Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Evening and Skype appointments are available upon request.
2011 Teaching Award Recipient
2. Decide on What to Record
Decide What to Record
One of the main difficulties students face in lectures is knowing what and how much information to record in lectures. Too often students feel that they must get everything the lecturer says down on paper! This is not the case. You need to determine what is important in a lecture. To decide what’s important, a good starting point is to analyse your course learning objectives. This information should be made available to you at the start of your lecture, or available from Queen's Online.
Once you have looked at your learning objectives, then you should have developed an understanding of what is expected from you, which in turn will make it easier for you to know what to write down during the duration of a lecture.
Sometimes a lecturers approach can also help you determine what should be recorded. For example:
- Sometimes information on what's important is clear by how the lecture is organised. Verbal clues like "Firstly . . . secondly . . . " normally indicate a series of important points.
- Non-verbal information, such as the lecturers tone of voice, can indicate that a topic is important.
- The amount of time the lecturer spends on a topic may indicate its importance.
- The lecturer may provide you with a course outline, which can indicate topics that will be emphasised and what the structure of the course will be.
- Remember if the lecturer takes the time to write something on the board, or highlight a particular topic, then it is important – so write it down!
Knowing what to write down is very important but how you record this information is also very important. See Section: '3. Develop your Recording Style'.