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This article is about a learning technique.
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Note-taking is the practice of recording information being consumed in some manner. It is usually done by a learner learning material.

Learning contexts

Class (live note-taking)

Note-taking is commonly done by learners in a class setting. Note-taking is particularly valuable in class settings because the multi-learner, synchronous, and explainer authority attributes of the setting mean that the learner may not be fully following and internalizing the class content. Note-taking allows the learner to record the class content in a format that can be revisited for a fuller understanding.

While note-taking is often valuable in a class setting, the lack of control over pace often makes it difficult. A number of note-taking systems and methods have been developed to address this.

An alternative to live note-taking is to record the class, then play back the recording and take notes as one would of a video. This may run into constraints of feasibility and permission.

In some cases, the explainer makes the class script or some notes based on the class script available to learners, reducing the need to take notes. However, learners may not actually know ahead of time what class content is part of the class script and what parts are impromptu and may be worth noting.

One-on-one tutoring (live note-taking)

With one-on-one tutoring, the synchronous aspect of a class setting remains, but the pacing can be much more tuned to the learner, since there is a single learner. This reduces the need to rely on notes, but it also makes it easier to take more complete notes.

Self-learning from text or video exposition

Note-taking may also be used by individual learners when self-learning from a text or video exposition. The purpose of note-taking here is more to help the learner understand and process the exposition better. The learner has the option of pacing and pausing the exposition.