The following are some examples, both good and bad, of note taking. The task was to demonstrate the ability to use the Cornell format for taking notes in a math class.

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This is a good example of note taking. The writing is clear; other people can use it to help the student review. There is a space between subjects to illustrate that the topics have changed. The student does not pose questions. He opts to use the subject/topic of the discussion. Their is room to add additional notes if needed.
This example illustrates the proper way to pose questions about the topic/subject. I would suggest that the student pose more open ended questions. For example question #4 states "what problems should I use substitution for?" A more open ended question that requires more understanding might be How do I know when I should use substitution? Another question might be to compre 2 different examples and choose which method is best, substitution or graphing?
My biggest concern with these notes is that there is no graphs or examples that demonstrate how to do the different methods.
The structure of these notes is wrong due to the fact that he forgot to add a verticle line seperating the notes section from the question/topic section. The absence of the line makes the two sections come together. The student makes the mistake of not leaving space between the subjects and so it's hard to decipher transitions.

This student has a lot of information in the notes. She used a different color when she added additional details. She forgets to add a summary section. I would suggest that she create more space between topics.
This is an example of student getting the information backwards. The illustrations should be in the main body section and the words/concepts should be in the topic/question section (left side).
Despite the fact that this student struggles with visual motor skills and poor penmenship the notes are clear and detail is provided. The structure of the Cornell system allows students to get the information down in their own means and others can use the notes to help review.
Another good examle of quality notes.
The next series of examples are for your review and critique. Pose the following questions for each example:
Are the sample legible because of the format?
  • Is it easy to see transitions from topics in the body section of the notes?
  • Is the note taker using bullets/phrases to shorten the writing?
  • Is there additional space to add to the notes?
  • How are the questions/topics? Are they matching the topic in the body section?
  • Are there multiple questions/topic items in the question section?
  • Is there enough information to provide quality review?
  • Do the questions/ideas/ demonstrate differnt levels of understanding. Use Costa's Level of understanding document if you are unclear about differnt levels of understanding?

 

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