I am having trouble with taking notes in class. I believe this is because we are using slides for the course. Slides bombard students with all this information, and at the same time the teacher is speaking. Moreover, the teacher may be writing down stuff on the board as well. So I usually don't read the slides and try to listen but the notes I take from the board are just mathematical symbols which make no sense to me because there are no headers, just many calculations.

I would like to know if you have any tips on note taking when teacher does slides and blackboard and speech simultaneously. Imo this approach on slides gives me no time to absorb the material enough for me to follow it. Thank you.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ this might sound dumb, but have you asked your teacher for a copy of the slides? $\endgroup$
    – celeriko
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ If you have a camera (such as one found on a cellphone), you may be allowed to take pictures of the slides. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry to not have specified this lol. The slides are readily available. Which kind of makes me wonder what the point of even showing up is, except for looking at the material with everyone. I think the best thing would be to read them beforehand to have some questions for the teacher but this is not usually possible with all the work we do in general. My concern is about how important what is said/written in class is versus what is already on the slides, and how to reconcile both. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:18
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Go to lesson with a printed set of slides and take notes of what the teacher said on the slide, adding comments, connections,computations. It is quite unlikely that slides will be complete in telling you everything you need to know. The teacher while showing the slides is adding all the material that could not easily enter into the slide. The purpose of showing up is exactly that of complementig the informations (usually very terse) on slides with the missing piees of knowledge you need to get something out of it... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 9:29

1 Answer 1



  1. Print the slides on ordinary paper in portrait orientation with two slides per page. Print only on one side of the paper.
  2. Use a three hole-punch to punch the paper on the opposite side you normally would, so that the slides are on the "back" of each sheet.
  3. Bind the printed slides in three-ring binder, and include additional paper. After turning the first page, the first two slides will be visible on the left side. Take notes on the blank sheet (the back of the next page of slides) on the right side in the space opposite each slide. If you need room for additional notes, bind a sheet of additional paper before the next page of slides.
  4. When reviewing, both slides and notes are simultaneously visible and the system is neat and organized.
  5. Use your awesome notes to diligently study, and get an A+.
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ My first thought was "This layout is terrible!". And then I remembered that most of the world is right-handed. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 17:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DanielR.Collins I thought about mentioning that...forgive my omission. Left handed note-takers should print the slides on the "front" and include an extra first sheet of paper. The slides will be on the right and corresponding notes on the left. (now just don't smear your writing...) $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ This is amazing lol. Thank you very much! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 22:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.