In an online course, one of your instructor’s roles is to provide you with a range of learning resources. Your role as a student is to use these resources to support your own learning. Often, you will learn by reading. At other times, you will learn through watching video; these might be mini-lectures, or videos that explain key course concepts. In an online course, it can be tempting to think that taking notes isn’t necessary, as you can return to any course materials online as needed. However, managing information through notetaking and organization can increase the quality of your learning, and save time by avoiding re-reading or re-learning material later on.

Key principles for learning from course materials:

  1. Become familiar with the resources available to you. At the beginning of each week, survey the learning materials that your instructor has posted. Schedule time to engage with the course content.
  2. Take notes. Why? Taking notes provides two key advantages: a) Taking notes provides a summary of the main points you have learned, reducing the need to re-watch or re-read materials later on, and b) Taking notes enhances your learning process by helping you think critically about and summarize main ideas. Taking notes is also a useful way of focusing your attention when watching course videos.

Key skills for engaging with course materials include:

Click on the links above to begin developing your reading and notetaking skills.