Helpful Hints for Online Note Taking

Online note taking may seem difficult, but taking notes for online courses and residential instruction have many similarities. Here are some of the best techniques for effective note taking.

Effective Methods

  • Outlining: Organizing with textbook readings
  • Cornell Method: Dividing the page into two sections for notes and key words
  • Paragraph Form:  Summarizing in your own words
  • Mind Maps: Making diagrams

When Should I Use Each Method?

Your method should vary according to the subject you are taking notes on. For instance, taking notes on a short story or poem will be different than taking notes on scientific or technical material. For information on how to take notes in these areas, visit the World Campus site.

What Should I be Writing Down?

An example of a notes page.

It is important to know what should be written down when taking notes.  While following these helpful hints, remember to think about your own opinions and record those original ideas as well. More information on this subject can be found by visiting the World Campus site.

Write a key idea down if:

  • It is repeated more than once.
  • There are any direct references in the book.
  • It is an example.

Summarize to:

  • clarify meanings
  • reinforce continuity
  • strengthen your memory
  • prepare for exams

The 5 R’s of Note Taking

  1. Record
  2. Reduce
  3. Recite: Talk Aloud!
  4. Reflect: Think Over!
  5. Review

To read a more in-depth overview of note taking, visit the World Campus site.