This post originally appeared on the blog My University Prep.
Why Visual Notetaking?
Students learn in a myriad of ways. Visual Notetaking engages the students’ minds by using the upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create. It allows students to process ideas in a fun and creative way and keeps the brain actively engaged. Visual identifiers may help boost memory as an added bonus.
What I Do:
In all of my first year undergraduate classes I employ Visual Notetaking. This year I lectured on Thucydides in one class and the Apology in the other. I asked my students to work on their Notetaking for a week after the lecture and their assignments were to be turned in just before their mid-term exam. I do think that it helped prepare them for their exam.
The students did such an amazing job – see some of the images below. The image above is way beyond what I expected! If you are interested in the section of the Apology that I teach, and if you would like to see more examples of student Notetaking, you will find my Apology unit here: Perfect Pairing #1: Socrates and the Insanity Defense
The marking of Visual Notetaking is fairly easy to do compared to marking an essay, for instance. I grade my students on their creativity, on their ability to make connections between ideas, on understanding the lecture, on editing down the lecture to crucial information, and on aesthetics. You will find my guide to Visual Notetaking here: Visual Notetaking
The results speak for themselves. Most of my students threw themselves into the assignment and my exam grades were higher overall.
Here are two more examples from my lecture on Thucydides:
Linda Jennifer is a University lecturer and a writer. Before her current position, she taught at both the high school and college level. Currently she teaches liberal arts with a focus on Great Books, critical thinking, ethics, and morality. “In this post-truth environment where alternate facts and false stats are on the rise, critical thinking, analytical debate, and ethical reasoning and are more important than ever. Yet, with traditional teaching methods seemingly more and more ineffective, my challenge has been to find creative and engaging material that will help 21st century learners excel. Hence my blog and TpT store focus on innovative teaching alternatives that engage but challenge all of my students.”