BlogGeneralCollaborative Note-Taking Boosts Students Enagement

Collaborative Note-Taking Boosts Students Enagement

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    With the surge in Virtual learning, teaching methods are also getting more advanced and innovative. One of the methods to keep students more engaged in lectures is asking them to take collaborative notes during classes. This method constructs a sense of responsibility, increases the alertness of students, and promotes the ability to work together. This shift in teaching methods has been a boon in the field of interactive learning. Collaborative note-taking has empowered students to co-create the study material along with teachers and other fellow mates. We will further discuss the specifications of collaborative note-taking. And how it boosts student engagement.


    • Collaborative note-taking is a very interactive way of teaching.
    • Teachers ask questions and suggestions from students as they introduce new information to the class.
    • Notes are made through these interactions where valid points from students’ answers and suggestions are written into a combined document.
    • Teachers further highlight these points and relate them to the knowledge they are trying to impart.
    • This enhances the student’s participation and interest in that particular topic or subject.
    • Teachers use this student interaction for imparting valuable pieces of information and leads to better pupil understanding.

    Requirements for collaborative note-taking-

    • Format on which notes are being taken. It can be online or offline. If Classrooms are virtual, note-taking can be done on apps like Google docs, Cornell charts, lucid learning, etc. If Classrooms are offline, note Taking can be done on whiteboards.
    • In physical Classrooms, Teachers can make lists, put bullet points, put bold headings, and present information in a reader-friendly format like putting the suggestions in chunks to provide students clarity while contributing to the note-making process.

    Communication guidelines:

    • Collaborative note-taking is a very interactive procedure, hence communication becomes a vital part of this effort.
    • Students should carefully pay attention to some guidelines which can provide a smooth note-taking experience whether in an offline or online class.
    • Notes should include correct information and the use of appropriate language should be encouraged.
    • Students should try not to overwrite each other’s pieces of information. This can lead to a more collaborative sense and students can learn how to work in groups.
    • In offline classes, students can also make verbal suggestions, inappropriate sentences and accurate information while the teacher guides them throughout the interaction.

    Boost students’ engagement through concomitant note-taking with the teacher’s guidance.

    • Note-making is an autonomous process where students can add information based on their own understanding and knowledge.
    • Students are allowed to make personal notes also, they can give an input of key points and headings while co-creating notes.
    • Students are encouraged to use their perspective, background knowledge, critical thinking, imagination, and reasoning to come up with innovative points regarding the subject or topic in question.
    • This enhances students’ thinking ability and gives them a chance to participate more in the learning process.
    • Students are motivated to discuss and explore the topics collectively to come up with key points to add on.
    • This boosts up the students’ engagement to very high levels.

    Planning a purposeful note taking collaboration:

    • Teachers should beforehand give students a heads up about the topic of discussion.
    • Teachers can provide students with some open-ended questions and queries and give students a purpose to ponder upon.
    • Group discussions and collaborative thinking is allowed and promoted.
    • Students should use their critical thinking abilities to add to the note-making process.
    • Posing questions like ‘ What can be added more to the notes?’ or ‘ what more information do we need To complete the topic’ etc. Can enhance student reasoning skills.
    • Collaborative note-making is a student-led synthesis. It also promotes more information retention amongst participants.
    • Teachers should keep guiding students to stay within the limits of a subject. As many times students can deviate from the purpose of note-making and the topic.
    • Teachers should keep promoting students towards the right information.

    Sharing of these collaborative notes and revising:

    • As these notes are not only owned by the teachers but also students, these should be circulated among students.
    • Participants are allowed to access these notes as and when required.
    • Teachers can also add new information or correct any wrong information.
    • Credit for these is to be given to both teachers and the students. Hence, students are equally in charge of these notes.
    • This autonomy over information boosts up students’ participation as they have a sense of authority over these collaborative notes.

    Also read: Online Classes vs. Traditional Classroom Learning


    1) How do students collaborate over note-making?

    Ans: Note making is done by the whole class together on the same platform with the teacher’s guidance.

    • Students discuss the given topic and help each other out to think and write notes. All students can revisit the notes often as each one of them makes their way through the content collaboratively.
    • This is how students are promoted to work collectively and learn the ability of group working.

    2) What questions can promote thinking skills in students while making collaborative notes?

    Ans: To keep the notes purposeful and within the knowledgeable limits, teachers can guide the students by posing clever questions to promote critical thinking abilities in students. By asking questions like ‘ What can be added more to the notes?’ or ‘ what more information do we need To complete the topic’ etc. Can enhance student participation and engagement.

    3) How to make information more user-friendly for students in collaborative note Taking?

    Ans: Information can be converted to a more user-friendly interface by:

    • Creating a list.
    • Putting information in bullet points
    • Putting bold headings.
    • Splitting information into small pieces or chunks.

    During note-making information should be easy to understand and in a readable form.

    4) What platforms are available to conduct collaborative note-taking?

    Ans: Virtually, note-taking can be done on apps like Google docs, cornell charts, lucid learning, etc. If Classrooms are offline, note Taking can be done on whiteboards.


    In the new era of interactive learning, collaborative learning methods and note-making have proven to be a blessing. This method is best for enhancing student interaction and engagement in classrooms. It promotes active learning amongst students and improves their retention as well.

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