Guided Notes: Increasing Student Engagement During Lecture and Assigned Readings
Description: The student is given a copy of notes summarizing content from a class lecture or assigned reading. Blanks are inserted in the notes where key facts or concepts should appear. As information is covered during lecture or in a reading assignment, the student writes missing content into blanks to complete the guided notes.
- A set of notes is prepared that contains the essential information to be covered in the lecture content or assigned reading.
- The instructor reviews the notes and highlights or underlines the key facts, concepts, or information that the student will be responsible for writing into the final version of the guided notes.
- Using a word processor, the instructor replaces the segments of notes identified in the previous step with blanks.
- Prior to handing out copies of the guided notes in class, the instructor ensures that students understand their responsibility to attend to content covered in the lecture or the reading and to fill in each of the blanks in the guided notes with the appropriate concepts, definitions, or other content.
- During lecture or while reviewing assigned readings in class, the instructor displays the guided notes (via overhead projector, computer projector, or smartboard) and fills in blanks with appropriate facts or concepts as they are presented.
Accommodating Diverse Learners. Students who have difficulty keeping up with even the modest writing requirements of guided notes may benefit from being assigned a peer helper from the class with whom they can meet at the end of the lecture. The peer helper reviews the student's notes to ensure that each section contains complete and accurate information about the day's lecture content.
As another accommodation for students of diverse abilities, the instructor might prepare several versions of guided notes. Students who find note-taking most challenging would be given a version of guided-notes that requires relatively little writing, while more skilled note-takers could have a version of notes that call for the student to record and synthesize a greater amount of lecture information.
- Heward, W.L. (1996). Three low-tech strategies for increasing the frequency of active student response during group instruction. In R.Gardner III, D.M. Sainato, J.O. Cooper, T.E. Heron, W.L. Heward, J.W. Eshleman, & T.A.Grossi (Eds.) Behavior analysis in education: Focus on measurably superior instruction (pp.283-320). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
- Heward, W. L. (2001). Guided notes: Improving the effectiveness of your lectures. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Partnership Grant for Improving the Quality of Education for Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from http://ada.osu.edu/resources/fastfacts/
- Konrad, M., Joseph, L. M., & Eveleigh, E. (2009). A meta-analytic review of guided notes. Education and Treatment of Children, 32, 421-444.
- Lazarus, B.D. (1996, Spring). Flexible skeletons: Guided notes for adolescents with mild disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 28(3), 36-40.