Consolidating knowledge

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I also had a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of notes in the first place…Didn’t I ever stop to think that maybe it’s not about the information: that it’s not about making pretty pictures and making sure you’ve covered EVERYTHING that comes out of the professor’s mouth or your textbook pages? Notes are not about simply recording information, but about ACTUALLY getting new information into your head.

Yes, you want to be on top of what the professor is saying, but better to actually LISTEN and take down notes on his key points, than act like a copying robot, making sure the spacing on your graph is perfect, and that you select the correct color of pen with the appropriate weight for drawing a parabola…Ridiculousness is all I have to say about how I used to behave… And I can serve up my own errors as an example for other students so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.

So not only do we want to use this to our advantage when studying, but we also want to keep this in mind when designing a note-taking strategy.

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After face-to-face learning, e-learning, blended learning or another type of training, Learning Consolidation reinforces what has been assimilated, optimises retention and enhances the learning outcomes.

Here’s a depressing calculation: Based on the amount of time I estimate I spent organizing my notes…1 hour per class x 2 classes per week x 16 weeks per semester x 4-5 classes per semester x 8 semesters = I “WASTED” 1,152 HOURS!!! Now, that time wasn’t totally wasted, I’ll give myself that much. I didn’t have much of an understanding for the topics but I could regurgitate the information which was all you really needed to do for the exams.” ~a frustrated student For those of you who fall a bit on the disorganized side, they’re the bane of your existence.

There are certain aspects of what I was doing (actively reviewing the material and figuring out how to organize the information better ) which were right-on, and we’ll talk about those in a minute…But I want to make this clear up front: Notes are useless unless they are helping YOU LEARN. For those of you who are a bit more anal (like I was), you probably spend hours and hours re-organizing, color-coding, and immortalizing everything that comes out of the professor’s mouth.

So let’s say, this week in class we’ll be covering concepts related to projectile motion, displacement, and velocity…

As I sit through class on Monday, the lecture covers a lot of different ground: Once you have everything grouped in a way that makes most sense to you, then here comes the tough part – (2) consolidate it all onto 1 SHEET OF PAPER.

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