Students seem to understand how to take notes from a professor who lectures from an outline and often writes points on the board or power points.

It seems like a more challenging process to take notes from a class discussion.   Of course each discussion can go in a different direction, but there are some basic points to keep in mind regarding discussion notes.

  1. Pay attention to your faculty member.  If there are points that they hear and then elaborate upon, that means they probably thought there was something "meaty" there; take notes on it and look it up after class if you didn't recall that section of material.
  2. Try to keep track of trends in the discussion; points or aspects of the work that are repeatedly brought up in different ways.  It might be indicating the importance of a section of work and if you had not focused on it previously, you might want to review it.
  3. Make a mark in your notes beside those comments that come from a professor vs. a peer.   That might be helpful when you are studying.
  4. Take time after class to reorganize your thoughts, write out more complete sentences or look for  a pattern in the flow of material discussed.