A Guide to Taking Notes and using Electronic Devices
You will find that many Departments have moved away from providing hard copy handouts during lectures and instead provide a Virtual Learning Environment through Moodle. This will give you access to current, future and past subject material. You are encouraged to familiarise yourself with this before your lecture, explore the extras that are of interest to you and return to sections for revision. Students are not required or expected to print documents.
A key skill which you will need to develp at University is note taking, whether with pen and paper or on an electronic device. Lectures are designed to help explain and improve your understanding of a subject. It is important that you are able to summarise what has been said to consolidate your learning and provide a way to retain this information. Note taking is a skill that takes practise and will be useful in your future career during presentations, meetings or conferences.
The vast majority of Moodle material is provided in PDF format but you will also find web links, videos, sound clips, images and interactive elements. If you would like to use an electronic device in your lecture to annotate PDF documents there is a range of software available to help you with this that can be downloaded for free. Some examples you might like to explore are:
- XODO PDF Reader & Annotator for android devices is very good. Xodo also works as a web app. http://xodo.com/
- Preview is a built-in reader and annotator for Mac https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201740
- *Foxit Reader covers a wide range of operating systems https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/
- *Foxit MobilePDF is simple, flexible and easy to use https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/mobile/
- *PDF-XChange Viewer provides a lot of annotation tools http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer
*NB if you install these on your PC they offer to install other components (e.g. Ask toolbars), if you do not want these be sure to unclick the ‘offer’ boxes.