Library

5 September 2017

Sorry, what? Improve your listening skills


Lectures can be overwhelming no matter what you're studying. There's so much content! Do you need to write everything down? Romany Manuell, a subject librarian at Monash, offers a few tips to help you with your listening and note-taking skills.




We all wish we had a photographic memory - with an audio component - so we can capture everything our lecturer says... These days, that wish is a reality! Many lecturers at Monash Uni make use of Learning Capture to record lectures, and then make the content available on Moodle through your unit site. But whether you're attending the lecture in person, or reviewing the lecture via Learning Capture, listening just isn't enough. You'll remember much more if you adopt some of these approaches:

1. Prepare to listen with purpose

A good way to prepare for lectures is to try to read relevant readings beforehand and come to the lecture with a series of questions you’d like the answers to. Listen out for the answers, and you’ll be listening with purpose! You don’t actually have to ask the questions out loud, but if they aren’t answered during the lecture, look for opportunities to discuss your questions with your lecturer, tutor or fellow students.

2. Practice your handwriting

Yes, it’s old school, but according to studies such as this one, writing by hand can actually help you remember. Researchers believe there’s something about handwriting that helps you to reframe content in your own words. So leave that laptop at home (it might help you stay off Facebook too… gulp!).

3. Listen out for signalling words

You may find that words such as first, second, also, furthermore, moreover, therefore and finally indicate stages in the lecturer's argument. Listen out for those words in order to grab the main points. There are more useful signalling words and other tips available on Research and Learning Online.

As you can see, listening and note-taking really work hand-in-hand. So if you need to brush up on your note-taking skills, watch the video below:




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