Cornell note taking

To make the most of the videos we recommend the Cornell method of note taking.  Using an exercise book or Word template, divide the whole page into the sections shown.  Use a new page for each video.  You will probably have some empty space on each page, but your notes will be better organised.

Make notes icon
Make notes icon

Cornell templateAt GCSE, when you see the “make notes” icon, pause the video and jot down into the notes section what you see on the screen.  At A’level we have removed this support to better prepare you for university and the workplace.  When the canvas changes to the next slide or section, rewind slightly, think about what was important in the previous few minutes and record this.

After you have finished writing your notes, use the section on the left titled, “Questions” to turn each of the main parts of your notes into a question that is answered by the notes.  For example, if you made notes about the fetch-decode-execute cycle you may have a note that the program counter is passed to the memory address register.  In the questions section you would write, “which register is the value of the program counter passed to?”

You don’t need a question for every note, just sections that are grouped together logically.  Another example might be, “what are the advantages and disadvantages of pipelining?”  Here you will have many notes that help answer that question.

Finally, in the “keywords & Definitions” section you should record all of the key words from the video that are in your specification.  If your teachers are using our workbooks and SLRs in class, these provide a handy reference.  Your teacher may also have shared our definitions PowerPoint or revision cards that have simple definitions of the terms for you.  Please be aware this is a premium service for schools, so unless your school is a Craig’n’Dave subscriber you will not have access to these additional resources.

The advantages of a Cornell approach to note taking include:

  • You will have an organised set of notes.
  • The quality of your notes will be much better and suitable for revision.
  • The information is in a format that suits both short and long-term memory.