Updated: Oct 10, 2018
So this is a very much requested blog post and I’ve been very excited to share my technique of note-taking. It’s nothing special but has proven effective for me in time past and has helped me to learn and consolidate my knowledge. It’s a 4 stage process for me, so here is the breakdown.
1. Note-taking before the lecture
If the lecture slides are released earlier, making notes of the lecture content is great for gaining exposure to the topic before the lecture. This can also guide your pre-reading, so you may decide to watch a YouTube video or read a specific chapter in a textbook to introduce you to the topic. I wouldn’t say this is compulsory but it is very useful in the long run.
2. Note-taking during the lecture
For the majority of the time, you will have access to the slides if not before the lecture, then after the lecture.
Whilst making your notes in the lecture focus on what the lecturer is saying, they often mention things that aren’t in the slides so pay attention.
I try and write down as much as possible, whether relevant or not as I don’t want to risk missing out important information that can make my process of understanding a lot quicker.
Always make notes of headings and they are good in the future for structural organisation
3. Note-taking after the lecture
Go back to the slides and fill in my notes (where I have missed any information out)
I also listen to the recording if needs be, to again add to my notes things I may have misheard during the lecture
I then do some further reading using relevant textbooks but I also make sure I don’t go into too much detail
An alternative to hitting the textbooks is watch YouTube videos; these are great for animations and are very concise
Any additional information I gain I incorporate into my notes
4. Note-taking for revision purposes
I condense my lecture notes by making them fit on one side of an A4 sheet of paper on my laptop (1 and a 1/2 sides at most) to consolidate my knowledge)
Then I make my mind-maps using these condensed lecture notes in my sketchpad
An alternative to making mind maps is making flash cards
ALL ABOUT MY MINDMAPS
As my course is Case Based, this makes organising my mind maps a lot easier. Each case so far has covered a particular sector e.g. Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Neurological and Women’s Health. I have also covered the basic sciences so some of them have their own mind maps e.g. Pain & Nociception, Immunity, Nutrition etc.
Why do I make mind-maps