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How Do Kids Take Notes in College These Days?

Old 12-13-11, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
As a...ahem, "mature student", I earned an A.A.S. this past spring. I noted there were only two types of students:

1) Those who took notes with pen and paper

2) Those who spent the entire class texting on their cell phones.
I was a "mature student" too, but went back to school in the mid 90's. They couldn't believe me when I told them how we used to do things, especially about paying people to type termpapers and how computers used to take punchcards.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:08 PM
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At 56, I am just finishing my AS degree. I took notes on lined paper, I don't own a smart phone, and I was usually the oldest student in all my classes. I totally agree with "miss kenton"! It was absolutely amazing how many high school grads. could not write a complete sentence, never mind get through a 5 page essay.
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Old 12-14-11, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
This thread is pretty sad. Not only will students today never pay off the debt they incur by going to school, but they don't even treat it as an opportunity to learn. It's more like, hey, if I sit in classes for this number of hours, I'll get a piece of paper that I can write about on my resume and I'll get a job!
Do you think it's a bad idea for people to go to college today because of the incurred debt?
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Old 12-14-11, 07:34 AM
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I just scribble notes and draw pictures on a block of wood.
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Old 12-14-11, 09:31 AM
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I was in college just a couple years ago. The vast majority of my classmates still took notes using pencil and paper.
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Old 12-14-11, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FieldEffect View Post
Do you think it's a bad idea for people to go to college today because of the incurred debt?
It depends on what their expectations are for going to college. By people, I am saying those who already have a bachelors degree and want to get an MBA for job reasons. Practically every university has some kind of "Executive MBA" program.
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Old 12-14-11, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FieldEffect View Post
Do you think it's a bad idea for people to go to college today because of the incurred debt?
I said absolutely nothing of the sort.
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Old 12-15-11, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
As a...ahem, "mature student", I earned an A.A.S. this past spring. I noted there were only two types of students:

1) Those who took notes with pen and paper

2) Those who spent the entire class texting on their cell phones.
This is for sure true, aside from the few who can take notes on a laptop or iPhone and still know whats up. I take notes the old school way. I feel if I physically write it i remember better and remember writing it in order to go back to it.
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Old 12-15-11, 07:34 PM
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Oh but i use pen because i cannot read my handwriting in pencil.
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Old 12-16-11, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
We brought notebooks in our backpack to take notes and had highlighters to mark up books, then later spent hours trying to figure out what the heck we scribbled in our notebooks.

My question is this: Are kids these days using laptops to take notes in class? I hear "MS OneNote" being tossed around a lot. Or, is technology frowned upon because of people screwing around online while in class, etc? I am afraid the answer is going to be "it depends". And my handwriting is so bad that I can't read anything I write by hand yet I can type 118wpm, so using my laptop in class would be highly beneficial.

Oh, and research. How do people research stuff for papers these days? I graduated college before The Google, so we had to do research in a library, read books, search horrible databases, and Internet sources were a huge no-no, period. But what about these days? I would be embarrassed to cite Wikipedia as a source, but surely Internet sources are the mainstream now? Do libraries still exist?
Yes, you can use a laptop, but the power source can sometimes be an issue. Not all classrooms are set up for laptops. And professor don't care if you spend your tme on BF, or playing solitaire, or if you pay attention and take copious notes ... you're paying for the course, you're paying them to stand up there and teach, if you want to waste your money by not paying attention, that's your business. They just prefer that you're quiet about it so that you're not distracting the people around you.

Otherwise, I found most professors posted their Powerpoints on the class web page a couple days before the class, so I'd print it off in the 6 slides per page format to save paper, and would then scribble my notes in between, if there was anything to add. Quite often the professor just read the Powerpoints and didn't add anything at all. So I might just highlight anything I found interesting.

And speaking of the class web page, that was something I found quite useful (provided the professor actually used it). The Uni should have a place on their website where you log in and get access to all your class web pages. The professors should post class notes, further instructions on class assignments, documents and articles to read, possibly also the results of exams and assignments, announcements of class cancelations, etc. etc. etc.

Regarding research ... of course there are libraries! But even better, you should be given access to heaps of professional, peer-reviewed articles online. You'll have to sign up for that either in person in the library or online. I usually took half a dozen books out of the library for my research papers, and then reviewed these online articles for any additional info.


A couple other tips ...

1) You're the customer ... you're paying for a service. If you don't think the professor is teaching you enough or aren't happy with the quality of instruction, you can complain and demand better. Make sure you get your money's worth.

2) Go light ... carry one of those folder clipboards with the days notes you've printed off and a few pieces of paper. When you return home, then file your notes into the appropriate binders. There's no point carrying around huge binders all the time. And you'll determine fairly early on if you need to bring the textbook or not.

Last edited by Machka; 12-16-11 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 12-16-11, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post

A couple other tips ...

1) You're the customer ... you're paying for a service. If you don't think the professor is teaching you enough or aren't happy with the quality of instruction, you can complain and demand better. Make sure you get your money's worth.
I recall there was a law suit brought by a parent of a student at an Ivy League University. The argument was that the professors were not teaching some of the classes. Teaching assistants (grad students) were teaching.
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Old 12-16-11, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes, you can use a laptop, but the power source can sometimes be an issue. Not all classrooms are set up for laptops. And professor don't care if you spend your tme on BF, or playing solitaire, or if you pay attention and take copious notes ... you're paying for the course, you're paying them to stand up there and teach, if you want to waste your money by not paying attention, that's your business. They just prefer that you're quiet about it so that you're not distracting the people around you.
That might be true for some professors, but when I'm teaching a class, I can usually tell. And if you come to me at the end of class with a grade that's close to the edge and might be bumped up, if you're one of the kids who spent every class surfing the web, I'm not likely to give you the extra half a percent or whatever that would push you up to the next grade bracket. More likely than the kid talking to his neighbors and taking phone calls (I try not to grade anyone's papers more harshly, but sometimes a prejudice might slip in as much as I try to be fair), but not very likely. Now if you pay attention, participate, come see me in office hours, then yeah at the end of the semester, you'll probably get that boost.

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Otherwise, I found most professors posted their Powerpoints on the class web page a couple days before the class, so I'd print it off in the 6 slides per page format to save paper, and would then scribble my notes in between, if there was anything to add. Quite often the professor just read the Powerpoints and didn't add anything at all. So I might just highlight anything I found interesting.
A couple of days? Maybe if they've taught the class for several years and don't plan on changing anything. I shoot for 24 hours.
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1) You're the customer ... you're paying for a service. If you don't think the professor is teaching you enough or aren't happy with the quality of instruction, you can complain and demand better. Make sure you get your money's worth.
Oh man, how I hate these kids. Usually fresh out of high school, often did well there and can't understand why they're no longer doing well and expect me to spoon feed them the material the way they're used to. At college, you're expected to be able to read and synthesize stuff on your own. My tests are no longer just memorizing facts and circling things, you need to understand both what I've told you and what I've assigned you to read and put it together. If you don't understand something, please ask as I welcome that sort of discussion, but the people coming with complaining that they've spent a lot of money and because of that they deserve good grades or expecting to be told exactly what is on the test drive me nuts. Kids are so freaking entitled these days. Don't understand that they need to work. College isn't about learning facts, it's about learning to learn and new ways of thinking.
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
2) Go light ... carry one of those folder clipboards with the days notes you've printed off and a few pieces of paper. When you return home, then file your notes into the appropriate binders. There's no point carrying around huge binders all the time. And you'll determine fairly early on if you need to bring the textbook or not.
Very good advice. Just make sure to bring that extra paper for when new information comes up that doesn't fit on the slides, or for asking questions.

Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I recall there was a law suit brought by a parent of a student at an Ivy League University. The argument was that the professors were not teaching some of the classes. Teaching assistants (grad students) were teaching.
TA's and instructors teach lower level classes at pretty much every US university. It's a fact of life. It's also how we learn to teach so that, one day we can become professors. Heck, at least in the sciences, professors are not hired for their ability to teach. Sometimes, it's not even a consideration. All the university cares about is their ability to bring in grant money through their research to the university. Many times, students are better off with TA's that actually care about teaching. Other times, professors are good teachers, but that's not necessarily a true thing.

Last edited by himespau; 12-16-11 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 12-16-11, 10:17 AM
  #38  
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no one really types notes on a laptop, but i can see its advantages.

slightly off topic but related:

i will be using my kindle next semester with ebooks purchased off of amazon. classes are getting out of hand in assigning me 4-5 books per class. i can get the ebook for a third of the price and have it all stored on one device.

perhaps this is something you should look into also.

cheers and goodluck, my father just went back to school this past semester and he is 50+, he over thought alot of the nuances, but just roll with it and keep and open mind about the experience.
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Old 12-16-11, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post

TA's and instructors teach lower level classes at pretty much every US university. It's a fact of life. It's also how we learn to teach so that, one day we can become professors. Heck, at least in the sciences, professors are not hired for their ability to teach. Sometimes, it's not even a consideration. All the university cares about is their ability to bring in grant money through their research to the university. Many times, students are better off with TA's that actually care about teaching. Other times, professors are good teachers, but that's not necessarily a true thing.
The small liberal arts colleges advertise the fact that professors will do all the teaching. Even here at the Claremont Colleges you'll find the professors doing the teaching even at Harvey Mudd. I don't know how or even if grant money is a big thing at the Claremont Colleges.
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Old 12-16-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post

A couple of days? Maybe if they've taught the class for several years and don't plan on changing anything. I shoot for 24 hours.

One of my best professors was famous for coming in to lecture with handouts that were still warm. And sometimes changing the notes while he taught.
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Old 12-16-11, 12:36 PM
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I have to say one of my favorite professors from undergrad came into class with a single yellowed sheet of notebook paper that had the course name on the top using a three letter code for out department that hadn't been used in 5-10 years at least. He'd then set the piece of paper down on a table in front of him and just talk to us (occasionally drawing diagrams on the board, but usually just talking to us in a conversational tone of voice) for 50 minutes about whatever his sheet (to which he never - or almost never - referred). Usually, it was stories about things he'd experienced and stuff (at least that was what stuck with me the most) but I learned a heck of a lot about bacterial pathogenesis in that class. Great dude, awesome class. But yeah, I've taught classes where I put the notes on the web shortly before walking across campus to the class. Don't like doing that, but it was mostly for lab classes where if they wanted they could review what they'd done afterward but mainly had all the directions in their notebooks, I was just giving them the why's.
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Old 12-16-11, 04:29 PM
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one professor I just had didn't bring any notes, class was 2 hours with no break, twice a week. He knew the material front to back and was able to ask questions about the reading we had, have students answer and then steer the discussion where he wanted it to go based on their input. A few diagrams here and there, but not much. Totally different lecture style than what I was used to, but it worked. He remembered the things we discussed in prior classes and which student brought them up better than I did
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Old 12-16-11, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dspaff088 View Post
i will be using my kindle next semester with ebooks purchased off of amazon. classes are getting out of hand in assigning me 4-5 books per class. i can get the ebook for a third of the price and have it all stored on one device.
When I was in school a year ago, only one of my classes' books were available electronically. Sucked. These were all engineering books.
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Old 12-16-11, 04:51 PM
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Old 12-28-11, 02:53 PM
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Unfortunately in my experience, the answer is "it depends."

Some professors were staunchly against us using laptops, others didn't care.

However, I did notice was that the overwhelming majority used pen/paper. I also noticed that when laptops were allowed, I rarely saw anybody actually taking notes (those who had a computer).

It also depends on whether or not the teacher makes content available online. Where I went to school, the teachers had the option to create home pages for each of their classes on the school's website. Some of them made the notes available every day after class, and some teachers didn't even utilize the technology at all -- including e-mail.

Unless the notes are made available online, I personally find it easier to take down/remember information by physically writing it down -- and I'm computer savvy! But it still comes down to personal preference. I'm sure some people out there do just fine typing notes.

I remember a quirky professor of mine who taught a "Monkeys, Apes and Man" course. He never showed up with any notes/books of his own, yet he never failed to fill every inch of that damn chalk board up numerous times per class. Needless to say, I know more about monkeys, apes and men than I'd ever hoped I would.
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Old 12-28-11, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
A couple other tips ...

1) You're the customer ... you're paying for a service. If you don't think the professor is teaching you enough or aren't happy with the quality of instruction, you can complain and demand better. Make sure you get your money's worth.
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I recall there was a law suit brought by a parent of a student at an Ivy League University. The argument was that the professors were not teaching some of the classes. Teaching assistants (grad students) were teaching.
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
A couple of days? Maybe if they've taught the class for several years and don't plan on changing anything. I shoot for 24 hours.

Oh man, how I hate these kids. Usually fresh out of high school, often did well there and can't understand why they're no longer doing well and expect me to spoon feed them the material the way they're used to. At college, you're expected to be able to read and synthesize stuff on your own. My tests are no longer just memorizing facts and circling things, you need to understand both what I've told you and what I've assigned you to read and put it together. If you don't understand something, please ask as I welcome that sort of discussion, but the people coming with complaining that they've spent a lot of money and because of that they deserve good grades or expecting to be told exactly what is on the test drive me nuts. Kids are so freaking entitled these days. Don't understand that they need to work. College isn't about learning facts, it's about learning to learn and new ways of thinking.

TA's and instructors teach lower level classes at pretty much every US university. It's a fact of life. It's also how we learn to teach so that, one day we can become professors. Heck, at least in the sciences, professors are not hired for their ability to teach. Sometimes, it's not even a consideration. All the university cares about is their ability to bring in grant money through their research to the university. Many times, students are better off with TA's that actually care about teaching. Other times, professors are good teachers, but that's not necessarily a true thing.
In my experience, the kids fresh out of high school were not the ones complaining when they did not receive the education they were paying for ... of course, they probably weren't actually paying for it. Mom and Dad were probably paying for it ... or they had a student loan.

So those students loved it when one professor cancelled class after class after class because the professor couldn't be bothered to get there or send someone in her place. She was one who posted the powerpoints about a week in advance, and if she did show up for a class, she would read the powerpoints like she had never seen them before ... stumbling along, unable to answer any questions. Her classes were in the evenings -- if the class was on, I had to stay in the university city overnight, but if the class was cancelled I could go home ... unfortunately, she never told us in advance she was cancelling the class, we'd all turn up for the class ... and she wouldn't show, or occasionally a secretary would appear with a message that the class had been cancelled. By then it would be too late for me to go home.

I was not right out of high school ... I was a 40-year-old woman who was paying for her education out of her pocket, and who expected better than that. I complained. I tried to see her to talk to her about it. She was always unavailable. The only answer I got was, "I'm sure she's doing her best". I learned the material on my own and passed the course ... but my money was wasted on that course.

In another instance, the instructor was more concerned about a course he was taking than the one he was teaching. He kept going off track and expecting us to know all about the material in the course he was taking. So much so, that when he designed the final exam, it was full of questions regarding the material in the course he was taking. All but 3 of us failed the exam, and the 3 of us who passed barely scraped through because we actually did know a little bit about the course the instructor was taking.

I complained to the instructor who told me the test was fair and that it was normal for about 80% of the class to fail the course. I complained to the next level up who investigated and deemed the exam (and the results of the exam) to be completely inappropriate ... our grades were curved.

Those are just two examples of several I've encountered. Some instructors/professors are really good. They show up for the classes, they not only read the powerpoints, but can answer questions the students might have and are willing to engage in a bit of a discussion about the topic if we want to know more. They make themselves available to the students. But there are some who really don't seem to want to be there at all, don't seem to know anything about the course, don't want to answer questions or engage in discussion ... and those are the ones I'm referring to in my first post.
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Old 12-28-11, 06:41 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
The small liberal arts colleges advertise the fact that professors will do all the teaching. Even here at the Claremont Colleges you'll find the professors doing the teaching even at Harvey Mudd. I don't know how or even if grant money is a big thing at the Claremont Colleges.
SAme for the whole SCIAC. I went to Occidental and had contacts to Cal Tech. Teachers actually teach. At Tech research is big, but I get the feeling that profs are always looking fro promising research assistants.

There was a downside, profs knew how smart and by implication how lazy I was.
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Old 12-30-11, 09:00 AM
  #48  
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Sonata, what would work best for you?

They're your notes meant to jog your memory. Do what you need to do, and if a professor/teacher has an issue, talk with them directly.
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Old 12-30-11, 11:47 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
Sonata, what would work best for you?
I would like to use my laptop and take notes into Word, but like everything in life, I figure there might be a million of other ideas which others are doing that I haven't thought of.
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Old 12-30-11, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I would like to use my laptop and take notes into Word, but like everything in life, I figure there might be a million of other ideas which others are doing that I haven't thought of.
I was certified to teach through a post-baccalaureate program - about fifteen years after I earned a BS in biology. When I took notes, it was always by hand with pen and paper - trying to use the computer was too distracting (and tempting to get online if class was boring, as many education classes are). I went to an excellent undergraduate college, but was a much better student years later. You will probably be surprised at how differently you learn now. After the first few classes, I ended up taking few notes, because I could retain as much just listening and participating in class. Most of all, enjoy learning!
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