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Use Study Notes Online for Shared Learning

Unlock the potential of shared learning with study notes. Learn how to make, share, acquire and use high-quality notes for Australian university degree courses.

Owl teacher with two pupils and documents

Online study notes have become a valuable resource for Australian university students. Collaborating on course notes with your peers can enhance knowledge retention and improve exam performance.

Additionally, acquiring and using high-quality course notes can supplement learning and fill in gaps in understanding. Let's explore how you can improve your academic performance by making, sharing, and using university revision notes to best effect.

How to Make Study Notes

To make high-quality study notes, start by attending all of your classes and taking detailed notes. It's best to do this in a clear and organised format.

  • For structure, you can use bullet points or a mind map.
  • Use shorthand for longer words and avoid writing full sentences unless necessary.
  • Include key quotes and examples from your lectures and readings.
  • Consider adding visual aids like diagrams or tables to help illustrate complex ideas.
  • Use highlighting or color-coding to draw attention to key points.

Review and edit your notes to ensure they are accurate and well-written. You should be able to review your notes from previous classes and see that they make perfect sense.

Use Notes to Maximum Effect

Using class notes effectively can significantly improve your learning and help you achieve better academic outcomes. If you’re taking up an online degree program, you may think that it’s more convenient to watch video lectures to understand a subject. However, you’ll become a more active learner when you take down and share your observations.

Rather than just listening to your lecturer, EdTech Magazine shares that you can take down notes to increase your retention rate about a topic and even add visual cues like graphs to remember certain concepts and ideas. Once you’re done, you and your peers can share these notes with one another to increase your access to information and boost your ability to retain ideas.

Here are some tips for making the most of your summaries.

  1. Organise your notes. Organising your notes can help you access the information you need quickly and easily. Use headings, bullet points, and other formatting tools to make your notes clear and easy to navigate.
  2. Review your notes regularly. Review what you've written periodically to help you retain the information you've learned. You can use flashcards, quizzes, or other tools to test your knowledge and identify areas where you need to focus more attention.
  3. Collaborate with others. Working with other students can be a great way to gain new insights and perspectives on the material. Share your notes with others and ask for feedback or additional information.
  4. Use your notes as a reference. Your revision notes can be a valuable resource when you're working on assignments or studying for exams. Use your notes to guide your research and to refresh your memory about key concepts and ideas.

By using self-generated content effectively, you can gain a deeper understanding of the material, improve your academic performance, and help others along the way.

Collaborate on Difficult Course Topics

Three young adult students studying on lawn

Are you working together with your classmates on difficult online courses? You can get closer and help each other succeed by collaborating on your notes for challenging topics.

"One of the best ways to be successful is to group together with some study buddies. The friends I have made have been invaluable for surviving and passing online courses."

Though you can simply use G Suite apps for collaboration, tools like Hypothes.is can make it easier for you and your peers to summarise and annotate texts together. Students in the humanities frequently use this software programme, but STEM students can also leverage it to create collaborative notes about scientific studies and other subjects.

With the help of these online tools, you and your classmates can work together to understand educational materials and summarise challenging concepts.

Access Study Notes from Others

Aside from collaborating with your peers, you can also access notes penned by other students and even from professors to better understand difficult topics.

Instead of simply relying on your own notes, Studocu shows that you can access top-rated course notes from students and professors to supplement your learning. This study-sharing platform allows you to browse through educational materials from the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and even international universities to gain more knowledge about your course.

StuDocu offers premium access to study resources for free to those who upload their own materials. To upload, you should ensure the documents are in .doc, .docx or .pdf formats, readable, and unique. You should select the university and course, drag and drop documents or browse the files, describe your materials under relevant categories, and provide accurate information before submitting.

By accessing and reading the work of others, you can fill in the gaps you have missed during a lecture and gain more insights about certain subject matters.

Related: 18 Tips for Studying Online Effectively

Downsides from a Focus on Note-Taking

By acknowledging the potential downsides of using study notes, students can better understand how to use them as a supplement to their learning and avoid the pitfalls of overreliance.

While class notes can be a useful tool, they also have their drawbacks. One of the main concerns is that students may rely too heavily on notes and neglect to engage with the course material in a meaningful way. This can hinder their ability to learn and retain information.

Another issue is that students may come across low-quality or incorrect material, which can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

An overreliance on summaries could also hinder the development of critical thinking and analytical skills. Students may become too dependent on others' understanding of the material and miss out on opportunities to formulate their own thoughts and ideas.

While note-taking can be a powerful tool for shared learning, be mindful to use it effectively for learning and memorisation. It's a good idea to explore the different note-taking methods to find what works best. By following the tips and strategies outlined here, you can also make the most of revision notes to improve your academic performance.

How to Study Someone Else's Notes

Using someone else's notes can be a valuable tool to enhance your learning. To study someone else's notes effectively, start by thoroughly reviewing them to gain a general understanding of the material.

Then, identify any areas of confusion or questions you have and explore them further through additional reading or research. It can also be helpful to restructure the notes in a way that makes sense to you and create your own study guides based on the material.

Lastly, it's crucial to verify the accuracy of the notes and cross-check them against the original source material. Ultimately, you need to engage your mind in the concepts and be confident about what you are learning. Notes supplement a process you control to achieve your goals.