#6: Note-Taking Pairs

(Barkley, Cross & Major, 2005)

Purpose: Students work in pair to improve their note-taking, writing and organization skills. Often times there are gaps in students’ notes and with this collaborative learning technique, students are given time to check, compare and correct their notes with a partner.

Procedure: After notes from a lecture have been taken.

  1. Choose to do during breaks in the lecture or at the end of the lecture. Students are given time to pair with their neighbour to compare and review notes.
  2. Have partner A summarize one section with their partner highlighting the main points and identify ambiguous concepts and questions that they have.
  3. Partner B clarifies/shares their thoughts based on their notes, filling in the gaps. Remaining questions should be brought and discussed through a Fish Bowl (Technique #8) or posed to the class.
  4. Partner A and B switch jobs for the next section.
  5. Repeat until all of the notes have been revised. Be sure to take time to respond to remaining questions.


Tip: This activity works really well in a larger scale classroom. In order to reduce the amount of time that it would take to answer the remaining questions (see question 3 above), you could have students submit their remaining questions to you as their Ticket Out the Door (Technique #2) and you can respond to remaining questions either online or at the beginning of the next class.