4 Ways to Take Course Notes With Friends

By Tamiera Vandegrift on September 13, 2017

Like any good college student knows, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. College gives you all of the opportunities necessary to connect with others with similar interests and others with whom you can mutually support one another in a career sense. Networking will truly save your life in the long run, as well as your grade.

As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” At this point in your college career, you have either begun to realize or already know the value of creating study groups. They are a surefire way to collaborate and share knowledge between all of you.

Studies have shown that studying in group settings allows you to increase your retention of information, enhances your thinking skills, and inspires your motivation to study. If studying in groups can be so effective and helpful, how would taking notes in class as a group fare? Let’s find out.

Keep reading to learn ways to take notes as a group and get several steps closer to slaying that final!

Image via: www.pexels.com

Divide and conquer

It’s difficult to take on a ton of information at once. After all, your hands can only write so fast. Before each lecture, arrange a mission with your friends. Take turns taking notes throughout the lecture, or even throughout the week. Give every member a “shift” where they spend the class period writing down the notes from the PowerPoint or board.

Meanwhile, everyone else in the group should ask questions or write down side-notes that you think are important. At the end of the lecture, meet again with your classmates and share your notes. You will be able to not only get the most out of your lecture but also learn more things from the lecture that you might have missed or not considered.

Use Google Docs

Google has always been our friend, but its Google Doc feature is an especially close companion. If your classroom allows laptop usage, your group could create a Google Doc for each lecture. It is a page that everyone can take notes with at the same time. This is especially helpful when you have a fast-talking professor and/or slower typing abilities.

It’s so easy to miss every single detail during a lecture, but with Google Docs, you’ll discover a whole new world of learning. Of course, the most important thing to avoid is having everyone in the same group writing the same notes at the same time. Of course, repetition is key, but not in this case.

Assign the fastest typist to the charge of jotting down the details on the PowerPoint slides or dry erase board. Another person can be responsible for writing down everything the professor says word for word. Another person can work by filling in the blanks with Internet searches. Another person can be responsible for asking questions in class and jotting down the answers.

The Google Docs feature also gives you the chance to use an instant messenger to communicate with your team in order to stay organized and keep some form of order. And yes, you can even share links to memes as well.

Image via: www.pexels.com

Use time to your advantage

Say you share a class with several of your friends but at different lecture times. No problem. You can still collaborate and share notes. Have each person record the lecture, whether it be on their phone or on their laptop. Meanwhile, have each group member write down what the professor is saying along with any other details they think are important to note.

Meet at the end of the day or on your regularly scheduled group study times and compile everything you’ve gathered. Try to teach the material to each other as if you were creating your own lectures. Doing so will give each of you a better understanding of the material and allow you to learn what your method or approach should be during the next lecture.

Read between the lines

Yes, you should actually do the class reading assignments, but we’ve all been there. Maybe you’re exhausted after extracurricular meetings. Maybe you’re just a huge procrastinator. Maybe your book hasn’t come through the mail yet. It happens. Create a group to keep track of each chapter and take notes on it.

Assign one person to chapter one, another to chapter two, and so on. Make it so that each person is responsible for becoming an expert on a couple of the chapters to save everyone time in the long run. When each of you are caught up on the chapter, that spares you from having to scurry to write down most of the course material. See what I did there?

Now, you can focus your time and energy on focusing on what your professor is saying and any little tidbits from the board that you deem worth mentioning. Collaborate with your team, share notes, and do it all again. Rinse and repeat.

Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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