Genre of Lecture Notes

Studies have shown that at least 60 percent of a lecture is forgotten within 24 hours unless action is taken (Brown, 1978, p.101). Thus, many educational experts and specialists strongly recommend making notes on the same day the lecture took place. While there are different types of lectures, Brown (1978) was careful to note that lecture notes are essential if the student perceives that the lecture is worth attending. It appears that the qualifying characteristic is the student’s discernment that the lecture is worthwhile, but Brown (1978) suggests that if in doubt, it will remain beneficial to follow the steps of note-taking.Note-taking is an essential step toward student learning. Many students perceive making notes during and after lectures as a waste of time. however, studies have shown that among the many skills involved in academic success is the ability to take thorough and accurate lecture notes (Baker Lombardi, 1987, p.32). Among the findings in the study by Baker Lombardi (1987), is the strong relationship between note-taking and test performance. In addition, they also found that the notes contained less than 25% of the important propositions during the lecture, and only 50% of the intended main ideas. Two pitfalls in note-taking were emphasized by Brown (1978). First, is the inability to distinguish between key ideas and supporting points or examples, which yield notes that are disorganized without a proper cognitive map of ideas. The second common mistake is the creation of an outline based on aesthetics that are not necessarily meaningful. From these arguments, it is apparent that there is a need to standardize the process of note-taking.Brown (1978) emphasizes that of more importance than the material that is reflected in the notes, are the thoughts in the heads of the note-takers. Lecture notes as tools for learning and studying have been proven very effective and advantageous.