The Cornell note taking system, developed by former Cornell University professor Walter Pauk in 1949, features three areas. It features a three-part system used for condensing and organizing notes, whether in the classroom or out in the field. One area is for note taking, the second is for review notes, and the last one is for summarizing.
Cornell notes was invented to benefit students in the classroom and help them formulate a way in which they can understand the lessons being lectured while at the same time being well organised. These days students are going through a variety of stress related problems that tie back to school work in the classroom. These problems range from how to understand what’s going one day to how to prepare for what will be going on the next day.
At many institutions, high schools and even middle schools, teachers teach at a very fast pace and the students just listen, hoping to grasp everything being said and be able to remember it for future preferences but they are disappointed when it is time to display on paper what they “heard”, rather than what they learnt, I know about this because I am speaking from my personal experience and I have many times been a victim of this status quo. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand,” Confucius said.
When students only hear what is being taught in the classroom, they might be confident that they will remember it just because it seems like simple information, some might remember but a majority of them will eventually forget at some point. When the Teacher or lecturer writes information on the board and explains it, more students might have a better chance at remembering the information because it is set at a visual and auditory viewpoint rather than being only limited to an auditory standpoint.
But seeing and hearing alone is not enough when it comes to the educational and academic field, students become unstoppable when they are given the opportunity to write the information down as well. In that instance, they are not only hearing the information, but they are capable of seeing it at anytime and they are also writing it down. Factually speaking, students who write what they hear and see are at a greater chance of not only remembering it but also understanding it.
When they write the information being said down they are capable of remembering it as it was said but when we hear it alone, our brain can manipulate the words and so we do not exactly have an accuracy at remembering it or understanding it. This quote was probably Mr. Walter Pauk’s motivation when inventing Cornell notes because he wanted the students to have a greater chance at understanding what was being said and taught. Cornell notes were also created as a means of stimulating the critical thinking skills of students.
Cornell notes also help students when they are working on assignments and they need help remembering and/or understanding what was stated in the classroom. Preparation was the main reason why Cornell notes were established; when students have an upcoming test and they need help studying they can easily pull out a Cornell note that was taken for that particular class that they are about to have a test on, Cornell notes work as an excellent study guide when none is provided by the teacher or lecturer.
That is why Mr. Walter Pauk sought to invent and develop the idea of Cornell notes, because he saw that students were frustrated with their test scores as a result of not being provided with study guides. Organization was also a reason that Walter Pauk developed the Cornell notes idea.
Cornell notes are easily organized and they reduce problems on students since organization is a major problem on not only students but even teachers as well, Cornell notes are designed with elements such as a notes section, a main idea section, a summary section rather than a cluster of all these ideas on a sheet of paper and that is also a reason why students have problems while reading what they wrote; taking notes alone doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s the way the notes is taken that makes or breaks the student.
Cornell notes also hold students accountable for their learning; therefore, what the student decides to do with these notes or what they decide to write in these notes will determine their learning. Cornell notes have come a long way since its first release in 1949 and ever since then it has spread like a wild fire in the bushes. Each day, Cornell notes continues to affect and influence the academic lives of students in a positive way either in its organizational benefits or in its preparation benefits and in most cases, both.
Mr. Walter Pauk’s’ vision behind inventing this systematic idea is everyday being actualized and each day students learn to appreciate this idea and the positive effects it has had on their grades but also in their learning. This systematic way of taking notes called Cornell Notes continues to significantly benefit students in their areas of weakness and as time progresses, students find more and more reasons to use these Cornell notes.