Sunday, March 14, 2010

meeting notes

Plan, Part I
Our last meeting was my personal favorite. We analyzed critically and objectively the common notion of “note-taking” and “studying.” As a group we came to the conclusion that good note-taking is really building a test review hour by hour, lecture by lecture. You also should be learning the material the first time around so when it is time to study for the test you aren’t LEARNING the material but, rather, REVIEWING it. So, we developed a structure for going about taking effective notes for technical and non-technical classes.


A concern that arose about note-taking is that your personal interest in the class or topic heavily affects the effectiveness of note-taking. So, what are some things that you can do to overcome this?
Magic T zone - studies have shown that a student who sits in the front three rows or the middle three columns will have a entire full letter grade better than the other students. Sitting in the magic t zone may improve both your interest and note-taking for the class
Professor Student Relations - this will force you to pay more attention and a bigger desire to excel in the class. It was also noted that if you have a relation with your professor and you voice your concerns to him/her one-on-one, he/she will be more likely to adjust his lecture just for you!
Fake it until you make it - another comment made to battle the interest is to hype up the students around you before the lecture begins. For some reason making the people around you more excited for the lecture will make you more excited and interested.
Lastly, one question that has come to my mind since our meeting is how do you adjust note-taking for pre-lecture reading notes or post-lecture reading? Post your answers in the comments below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Discussion 2: Control

Last night was another great discussion. Thanks to everyone who made it out.
We will be having out third meeting in two weeks.
The control philosophy has you decide in advance how to spend your hours. It rejects the default approach of allowing your days to unfold in a chaotic and inefficient manner. (Cal Newport)
This week we discussed:
  • Auto pilot- assign every regular occurring task to a specific day of the week. This should allow you to get those things done with ease and focus more time of the bigger things.
  • Time blocking- There are two good reasons why time blocking works so well. First, by assigning times to tasks, you're forced to face the reality of how much work is on your plate. This prevents stressful pile-ups and all-nighters. (Cal Newport)
  • Is a too specific schedule hard to stick to? For some people it is. Personalize your schedule.
  • When you are working it's working time, not facebook or texting time. Some people find it helpful to turn off their phones, shut down their WiFi and make sure they focus only on the task at hand. Also, if you want to have time in your day to facebook schedule in a break and know you are going to facebook then, however we discussed how distracting and time consuming the internet can be. For some staying off the internet til all homework is done is a better idea.
  • Assigning work to times reduces the urge to procrastinate. You are no longer deciding whether or not to work during a given period; the decision is already made.
  • Don't give yourself too much time or you will take all the time when it could have gotten done in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Breaking up tasks. If something is intimidating put it on the schedule a few times so you can break it up into smaller chunks and avoid getting run down by the same assignment.
  • One tip was to use the time you start to wander in class as productive time. Start working on the assignment instead of daydreaming.

Control was a good way for us to use to know how to use our planners some of us went out and purchased after the first meeting. We look forward to seeing how this has improved everyones schedules in two weeks.

just a reminder

We will be have a meeting tonight, February 2nd
@ 9:30pm
in the Merrill Cazier library room 145

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Discussion 1: Capture

This week's discussion topic was capture. We were able to talk about many ways that helped each individual stay organized and capture their responsibilities.

Some of the suggestions made were,
  • What do you use to keep track of things? Elecronic devices, small notebooks, "to do" lists on a large piece of paper in a binder you carry around with you throughout the day. Each of these things have pros and cons. We were able to discuss those things and noticed people modifying what they have been using when they heard useful ideas from others. We came to the conclusion that how you keep track of your responsibilities needs to be very personalized. Use what works for you and find something you can stick with.
  • Some people asked what should be scheduled in? This is also something that has to be personal. If you need to schedule in time for a nap do that, if you only use it for due dates or study time keep post-its that mark time a few weeks in advance that you can move around if you didn't get to it that day, use highlighters to to keep reminders of leisure activities and homework or tests.
  • Don't run yourself down. Set aside realistic time frames for what you can accomplish in one day.
  • Leave yourself options when you can.
  • Electronic reminds? Helpful or not?
  • Keeping a master calendar on your desk or wall. *If you would like a large desk calendar let Sean or Mallory know. Her dad prints them at work.
  • Setting aside time to go over your planner/electronic calendar/notebook. For some people that works best in the morning and others go over the next day before bed. Find something that works for you but make sure you take the time to go over your schedule and make sure you have everything done and are prepared for the upcoming tasks.

Overall, the meeting was a success. We were able to have a large group discussion and help other improve their capture skills. Remember to make these things habits, get used to capturing your responsibilities and you will find yourself being more successful.

We will be having our next meeting on Tuesday, February 2nd @ 9:30 in the library.

Hope to see you all there again!


We will be having our first meeting
Tonight, January 19th, 2010
TIME: 9:30
@ the USU Merrill-Cazier library
ROOM 149
* this meeting should only take an hour. We will be holding them every week and encourage anyone who is interested to come.