Student Learning Commons: Listening & Note-taking

Student Learning Commons Resources


A SFU resource:  The Adventures of Jason (Part 1)

  • Read this comic to see how a new international student learns how to effectively take notes in lecture, as well as how to successfully engage in other academic tasks (produced by SFU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the English as an Additional Language Implementation Project).


External Resources

  • Curve of Forgetting (University of Waterloo) - If this doesn't convince you that daily review of your lecture notes is necessary and doable, I don't know what will!
  • Learning from Lectures (University of Guelph) - General tips plus a discussions of using laptops for note-taking, and note-taking in specific types of courses.
  • Develop your listening skills  and Active Listening (City College of San Francisco) - Short lists of tips for getting more from your lectures.
  • Taking Lecture Notes (Carnegie Mellon University) - Do you think it is always a good idea to record your lectures?  Read on for a different perspective plus several good suggestions.
  • No Nonsense Note Taking (Keene State College) - 15 note-taking tips.
  • Math Study Skills: Note Taking (Mission College) - Several tips following the model "Listen, Write, Review, Reflect."


Listening Tools


Note-Taking Tools

  • A Guide to University Learning (University of Guelph) - Interactive online university preparatory workshop that, among other things, includes a guided exercise on taking notes from a lecture. 
  • Note-Taking Systems (California Polytechnic State University) - Descibes 5 different note-taking systems.
  • Note-Taking: Cornell Method (Utah State University) - A great method for making notes that are useful for studying.
  • Concept Mapping (University of Guelph) - A how-to guide to a visual form of note-taking.
  • Concept Knowledge Maps Video (McMaster University) - Shows the process of building concept maps and describes their use. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and this is the last video listed. Watch the Windows Media Player or QuickTime version.
  • Freemind - Free concept mapping software. Now you can do your concept maps on the computer instead of drawing them by hand.
  • Mind-mapping (James Cook University) - Why limit yourself to text-only notes, expecially if you are a visual learner? This online tutorial, complete with a video, tells you all you need to know about this graphic form of note-taking.
  • How to Create a Mind Map (Forex Trading) - This site shows how to create a great variety of mind map formats.