Improve your focus and learning for your online school. Here are some tips on how to take better notes during your online class.

Based on research, taking notes enhances your reading comprehension while also increasing information retention. That’s because it’s an active form of learning that every student should use, even for those who are taking online classes.

take note during online class

While the question of whether or not you need to take notes during online classes has always been up for debate, it doesn’t take away the fact that the perks of note-taking are the same for both a classroom-based course or studying online. Moreover, multiple online tools are available nowadays that allow you to take notes digitally and neatly.

On the contrary, jotting down the notes on paper is the most practical method since it’d likely be hard to take notes on your computer directly while also using it to watch a lecture video. But whatever your method is, analog or digital, follow these 7 tips below to improve your note-taking ways during an online class.

Tips On How To Take Better Notes During Online Class

Should you take notes for online classes?

People forget 47% of what they learn after just 20 minutes. And when it comes to audio lectures only 10% of what they heard will be remembered. However, with note-taking, you can recall almost 80% of the lecture you’re taking, online or not.

On top of increasing both comprehension and retention, taking notes helps you organize key points and ideas, keeping you focused and ultimately, providing you a more comprehensive review for future exams. So, yes, taking notes for online classes is especially helpful for all students.

note-taking systems for online school

Tips On How To take notes during online class

1. Pick a system of note-taking

A note-taking strategy determines how you take down notes. Before anything else, choose a note-taking system that you think will fit you best.

A good technique that’s commonly used by many is the Cornell System. In this method, you’ll be dividing your paper into three parts. One column for taking notes during online class (which requires a bigger space), another column (smaller space this time) for the keywords and main ideas, and lastly, the bottom part for a sentence of two that should sum up each page of your notes. Determining which system to use helps your study notes effectively and meaningfully.

2. Be prepared

Before joining your online class, spare some time to know the topics and concepts you will be covering in class. Just like traditional classes, most online classes provide a course overview or a syllabus to give you an outline of the entire subject.

Identify the important points you must take note of during your online class. Familiarizing yourself with some foreign terms and concepts ahead of time can also make things easier for you later when taking notes, not to mention help you avoid wasting your time.

note taking tips for online learning

3. Stay organized

Maintain a hierarchy-style of notes. For instance, start with a primary topic then branch out to subheading or sub-topics.

Then for each subheading, you can write down the important points in bullets. Also, have a separate notebook or digital document for each course. Place dates and page numbers on your notes, too. Furthermore, leave some space near your notes for further comments and references to other relevant materials at a later date.

Sticking to a certain method of organizing your notes makes it easier for you to review and refer back to these when you need to.

4. Write down the key points only

Some students’ style of taking notes is writing every word that the lecturer said. While it could be effective for some, it isn’t the smartest nor the most efficient method either.

For starters, it uses up so much energy and it can be hard to review your notes since it’s filled with long sentences. So, instead of wasting your time and energy with full sentences, keep your notes short but precise.

Write down only the main points from the lecture and try to use your own words as you can understand the concepts better when you do a read-over later. You can also use abbreviations and/or symbols so you can jot down notes faster. Furthermore, writing in phrases and short sentences leaves spaces for later additions.

For concepts and points you aren’t sure of, leave a distinct mark so you know that you need to go over them again, or maybe ask your teacher about them.

5. Review and refresh

Don’t wait until it’s exam period to review your notes. Every week spare at least 10 minutes reviewing all your previous notes to minimize the amount of information you will forget. You can review them as frequently so all the information stored in your short-term memory will be transferred to your long-term memory, boosting your recall.

note taking tips

6. Create weekly summaries

For your notes on the previous weeks, create a summary out of them so you can develop more ideas, digest the concepts further, and enhance your overall learning. One modern way to do this is to put it in your blog.

Maintaining a blog page of summary notes lets readers comment on them and possibly giving feedback to improve your studies. If you take notes digitally, several tools and apps online can be used to let your record and organize your notes. They also come with helpful features like bookmarking, uploading files, tagging, and many more.

7. Utilize whatever online content available

Online classes sometimes require you to seek other sources of material and information just like when you have regular classes. Many online courses come with transcripts of the lecture videos.

Read through the transcripts so you can modify your notes and add some if needed. Printing PDFs and other materials from your lecture and putting them in your notebook can also help. On the other hand, if your online course has a related discussion forum, get more views and insights from other people taking the same class as you about a concept or topic covered in that subject. Then, if you’ve gathered some new information, make sure to add them to your notes.

Taking notes on your online classes is an integral part of learning, thus, it needs to be done in as much organized and efficient manner as possible. With those note-taking tips above, you can eventually improve your academic performance even when taking online classes.

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