Software Tools to Improve Note-Taking in the Classroom
Daniel PILON, Jacques RAYMOND, and Patricia RAYMOND

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The Note-Taking Tool

The term strategy, originally taken from the military, refers to a way of reaching a goal. Research studies such as Carrier's [3] indicate that note-taking is an effective strategy for positively influencing the way learners organize content. As well, taking notes sharpens student's listening skills and helps them to retain information for a longer period of time.

A key concept for note-taking is ease. Spacing can create a good note-taking format. To take notes, students use different types of paper (lined or unlined, coloured or white), their own colour code to highlight, and their own abbreviations to accelerate the process of note-taking.

The electronic sheet displayed on the right side of the clipboard is used to take these personal notes. Any character typed on the keyboard, a mouse movement made while the left button is pressed, or a pen movement made when the pen is pressed on the screen will display a character or mark on the electronic sheet as shown in figure 13. These characters and marks with their colour attributes are linked to the transparency displayed on the left side of the clipboard and saved on disk. These notes are shown on the electronic sheet each time the corresponding transparency is called and displayed.

Note-taking tool
Fig 13. The note-taking tool

Furthermore, students may mark the electronic transparency on the left side of the clipboard if they so choose. These marks are also linked to the transparency and saved on disk. In Professor mode, these marks are used only to emphasize a point and thus are not considered personal notes and are not saved on disk.

The notes are kept separately from the lesson transparencies so that a professor or a student may review the integral lesson without his/her notes or give away his/her note files to another student who missed the class. Moreover, handwritten notes may be translated into printed characters using any commercial handwriting recognition software.

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