Happy Doc Student Podcast

It's a Game Changer! Systematic Note-Taking with Dr. Jen Robinson

December 08, 2021 Heather Frederick, PhD Episode 57
Happy Doc Student Podcast
It's a Game Changer! Systematic Note-Taking with Dr. Jen Robinson
Happy Doc Student Podcast
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Show Notes

Today’s episode focuses on the importance of having a systematic note-taking system. It might sound rudimentary, but it truly is the key to your success. 

Dr. Jen Robinson received her MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from Ohio University and her Ph.D. in Education from Washington State University. 

Can you answer the question: What is your note-taking system? 

Highlights and Tips

·      To be successful you need to be a good systematic note-taker – use a synthesis matrix

·      Note-taking is a skill that is related to achievement

·      Do not rush the process of becoming an expert!

·      You will be reading hundreds of articles – you must have a systematic way to organize all of this information

·      Consider reading an article and taking notes on it every night

·      Find a system that works for you (online, long-hand, hybrid: Excel spreadsheet or post it notes on a wall – both work; find the method that feels best to you!)

·      Set-it up so that your first column is your citation, then general notes, then have a column for each of your main variables/constructs of interest

·      Time saver – sets you up to write faster, you have info ready when your committee requests it, your lengthy reference section is completed as you read your articles, etc. 

·      When you take notes in your own words it protects you from potential plagiarism

·      Translation hypothesis: Your brain needs time to process the information and a synthesis matrix is one way you can facilitate this process

·      Let your habits be elastic! Be nimble, be agile (think Gumby!)


 Morehead, K., Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Blasiman, R., & Hollis, R. B. (2019). Note-taking habits of 21st Century college students: implications for student learning, memory, and achievement. Memory, 27(6), 807–819. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2019.1569694 

Salame, I. I., & Thompson, A. (2020). Students’ views on strategic note-taking and its impact on performance, achievement, and learning. International Journal of Instruction, 13(2), 1–16

Chen, P.-H. (2021). In-class and after-class lecture note-taking strategies. Active Learning in Higher Education, 22(3), 245–260. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1177/1469787419893490

App: Liquid Text

Connect with Jen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-r-48041056/

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