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Structured note-taking strategy STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Strategy used for taking lecture notes 1. Model (Use something like a think-aloud
Applicable across all content areas to demonstrate to students how to
Aids in comprehension, recall, critical thinking, and
organize and filter through information)
2. Guided Instruction (Allow students the
Requires active participation opportunity to try the strategy with a
developed originally for college students by Walter template and allow them to ask
Pauk, a Cornell University professor, in the 1950s questions)
3. Collaboration (Have students work
together to complete their own notes by
comparing with peers)
4. Independent Practice (continual
*Include gradual release of responsibility/
*Give students time to review notes and reflect
on material
divided into 3 sections
designed to be a study tool
Requires extended practice and
scaffolding Questions
Students may create their own template or Notes
be given a template with cues as to what Vocabulary
information to put and where Main Ideas
Requires students be taught short-hand Stressed
[Cite your Information
strategies to not list all information source here.]
verbatim; to listen for main ideas; and to 2.5
Answers to 6
[Cite your
*College Students source here.]
All students 3rd-12th Including: 2
Students with and without Learning Disabilities,
including: ADHD, LD, ED, MID, OHI, ASD, [Cite your
CD source here.]
*May exclude or require other accommodations for
students with orthopedic impairments, visually impaired,
and deaf/hard of hearing


Strategic notetaking was found to

RESEARCH FINDINGS increase long-term and short-term recall.

Extended practice is recommended however.
WHAT SUPPORTS IT? Boyle & Weisharr found that activities,
Boyle, & Rivera (2012) conducted a review of research such as strategic notetaking, which engage
on note-taking techniques for students with disabilities. They students during notetaking result in improved
found that the use of lectures within classrooms requires notes, improved recall, and improved
students to acquire good note-taking skills. For students with comprehension on tests (2001, p.139). Their
Learning Disabilities (LDs) this is often more challenging as study included identifying several main points,
they found students with LDs recorded few notes and often vocabulary, and summarizing information; all
missed key information in their notes. Boyle (2012), found that aspects found within Cornell Notes.
note-taking hinders students with learning disabilities in two
Lecture is often utilized as a teaching
instances, first as they take down the information and second as
method especially in high school thus it is
they study the incomplete information. For students with
important for students to have good notetaking
learning disabilities affecting working memory note-taking is
strategies (Boyle & Weisharr, 2001). The
especially difficult. Further research finds that for students with
research shows that teaching a note-taking
executive function disabilities, the complexity of taking notes
strategy and the active participation involved
through listening, filtering information, and recording is often
from students is an effective long-term strategy
challenging. These students may find themselves
for students with LDs (Boyle, Forchelli, Cariss,
disadvantaged (Boyle, Forchelli, Cariss, 2015). While note-
2015). These studies found that note-taking is
takers, having other students take notes, and altering
effective for assisting students both with and
presentations are alternatives to assist these students, Cornell
without LDs in retaining and understanding
notes can be used across all content area classes and have a
information from lectures.
long-term use (Boyle & Weisharr, 2001).
The use of support strategies for comprehension and REFERENCES
understanding lecture notes is helpful for students with and Boyle, J. R. (2012). Note-taking and secondary students with learning disabilities: challenges and

without disabilities. Stringfellow & Miller (2005) conducted a solutions. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (Wiley-Blackwell), 27(2), 90-101.

study on four strategies: guided notes, visual organizers, lecture doi:10.1111/j.1540-5826.2012.00354.x

Boyle, J. R., Forchelli, G. A., & Cariss, K. (2015). Note-taking interventions to assist students
pauses, and structured questioning. These were found to
with disabilities in content area classes. Preventing School Failure, 59(3), 186-195.
facilitate acquisition and enhance engagement. The study
supports the teaching of lecture note-taking strategies through Boyle, J. R., & Rivera, T. Z. (2012). Note-taking techniques for students with disabilities: A
evaluation of strategies that contain aspects of Cornell Notes. systematic review of the research. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(3), 131-143.

Further research supports strategic notetaking in aiding students doi:10.1177/0731948711435794

with learning disabilities recall and comprehension of lectures Boyle, J.R., & Weishaar, M. (2001). The effects of strategic notetaking on the recall and

(Boyle & Weisharr, 2001). Strategic notetaking requires active comprehension of lecture information for high school students with learning disabilities.

engagement from the student and when taught effectively can Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16 (3), 133-141. doi:10.1111/0938-

aid students with understanding the content.
Donohoo, J. (2010). Learning how to learn: Cornell notes as an example. Journal Of Adolescent

& Adult Literacy, (3), 224. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.54.3.9

Pauk, W., & Owens, R. J. Q. (2011). How to study in college. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage


Stringfellow, J.L. & Miller, S.P. (2005). Enhancing student performance in secondary

classrooms while providing access to the general education curriculum using lecture

formats. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 1(6). Retrieved 6/27/2017 from