Note-Taking Tips for Those Extra Long Lecture Courses

23 08 2016

Note-Taking Tips for Those Extra Long Lecture Courses

Professor McBorely’s course, History and Theory of Monotonous Drudgery, meets three times a week at 8:00am for an hour and a half. He’s 117 years old, never takes questions, never looks up, never pauses to inhale, never repeats himself, and never references the text. Better yet, this is a required class for your MBA and you must earn at least a C if you want to earn your degree. How are you going to survive this boredom week after week? It won’t be easy, but you can do a few things to help yourself through a long lecture course. Use these tips to stay alert and engaged, even in the most tedious lectures.

Be Present
You can’t miss this class and you can’t sleep through this class. Do whatever you have to do (and are allowed to do) to show up and stay awake. Copious amounts of coffee. Crunchy snacks. Favorite pen. DO NOT plug in your headphones, no matter how much you are convinced music helps you concentrate. It doesn’t. It helps you zone out.

Use Your Notes
Have a pencil, pen, and paper ready to go. Writing while you listen will help you remember and these tried and true staples of education are still necessities for your backpack. In addition, a wise choice when the bullets (or words) are flying is using a recorder. If you have a digital voice recorder, or enough space on your phone, record the lecture. Any time you feel yourself getting too far behind in your note-taking, or that you may have missed something important, jot down in the margins the timestamp on the voice recorder, that way you can go back and fill in the blanks, check facts, and wording, etc.

Review
This one may be the most annoying of them all, but in a note-heavy class, your best move is to go home and rewrite the notes. This review process lets you organize your thoughts and the professor’s words into the most understandable and memorable fashion for your brain. This is also the time to review your recording and check your notes against those someone else took. This really is the best way to learn the material and organize your thoughts about the most important facts.

Find a Backup
Maybe long lectures will never be your thing, and you just can’t commit. See if you can find an online course or similar credits in another class. If you can earn an MBA in technology management online, you can definitely handle one course from the web. Talk to your counselor to see if they know other professors who teach the same material, but maybe in a different way.

Nothing is going to make this long lecture course go by any faster, but hopefully these tips will make it more productive and a little easier to sit through.

****Campus to Career thanks guest blogger Brooke Chaplan for this post!!****

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