Course Note Collaboration Strategies for Success

By Alyssa Laffitte on December 31, 2017

Course note collaboration is when multiple students work together to create a cohesive set of notes. Professors like this because it promotes collaboration while encouraging students to take notes. In this post, we’ll discuss course note collaboration strategies, and tips for a successful course note collaboration strategies. Here we go!

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Course Note Collaboration Strategies

Use online tools, like Google Docs, to your advantage

There are tools available to us online that make course note collaboration much easier. My personal favorite is Google Docs because it is so easy to use and has many useful features. For example, you can edit each others’ work in real time. Two people can be working on the document separately, but they can see what edits the other person is making in real time. The ability to write comments on the document is another great feature of Google Docs. You can let your team members know if something needs to be changed or deleted altogether, and provide suggestions to help them improve their work. By default, Google Docs comes with Google Sheets and Google Slides, so if you ever need to collaborate on a database or on a presentation, you can do that, too.

Check out tools like OneNote and Evernote, too. You might find that they work better for you!

Take notes individually, then combine them

Another strategy for successful course note collaboration is to take notes individually, but then discuss and combine them into one document. This requires work because you will have to be taking note the entire time. However, the advantage of this method is that one person might have grasped a concept that another person missed. Similarly, one person might have been able to explain a concept better than another person, so you can use the best of each person’s ideas for the final notes. This also encourages each person to pay attention and take their own notes.

I like this because it takes advantage of the fact that group members will have different strengths and weaknesses, and that we can enhance each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses.

Assign a part for everyone to write notes on

Another strategy for course note collaboration is to assign a part for each group member to take notes on. This is advantageous because you will only have to take notes for a certain part, but you won’t have any other notes to compare it to. If you chose this method, make sure you write notes on a subject you are confident you can explain well. Your group mates will be relying on you for your section!

Tips for a successful course note collaboration experience:

Do your share. Don’t just expect everyone else to do the work for you.

When you work in a team, the worst thing someone can do is not participate. Don’t be the person that doesn’t contribute anything to the project! Your group members will be annoyed, and you won’t be part of the group learning experience. If you agree to write notes for a certain section, do it. Which leads to my next point…

Communicate with your group members

Communication is key when working with a group. If you have a problem, don’t be afraid to speak up! For example, if they ask you to take notes on a topic you are not comfortable with, let them know! Chances are, they will listen to your concern and assign you a new topic. Also, if you will not be in class one day or if you cannot make a deadline, let them know! If you let your concerns be heard, there is a good chance your group mates will accommodate you, and you should accommodate them if they have any concerns.

Put ideas into your own words

A great tip for learning, in general, is to put ideas into your own words when you take notes. When you copy down information word for word, you are not making the information your own. You are not assimilating the information into your existing pool of knowledge. However, if you put the information into your own words and if you relate the new ideas to something you already know, the information becomes your own, and it is much easier for you to understand. So don’t just copy the information, try to make it your own and assimilate it into your pool of knowledge.

Course note collaboration is a great way to collaborate with your classmates and to end up with a strong, cohesive set of notes. If you use a good platform (like GoogleDocs or OneNote), have a good collaboration strategy, communicate if you have a problem, and put your ideas into your own words, you will have a successful course note collaboration experience.

21, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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