Getting organized with a notebook

One of the tips for developing effective study skills is to "Have everything needed for study handy beforehand.
Don't waste valuable time looking for books, notes, or other information. After you have assembled the items you need, put them where you can reach them easily."  In other words, get organized.  Here's how to organize the information for this course in a handy notebook that you can take with you or keep at home -- everything in one place.

You are going to generate a huge amount of material through this course.  It can get overwhelming unless you spend a little time organizing it from the beginning.

Supplies needed:

bullet 3-ring binder notebook
bullet tabbed dividers to make 5 or 6 sections in your notebook
bullet hole punch, preferably one that punches 3 holes on a page at once

Here's how to set it up:

  Using five tabbed dividers, make tabs for these five sections:
Major Points about Learning Print "How We All Learn" (see below) and keep it in the front of your notebook to remind you of how learning happens.
Syllabus & Course Schedule Sometimes I adjust the class schedule according to class needs, but I will let you know when I've made such a change.
Projects Research projects and other assignments.
Learning Handouts These are those readings that you access through a link on the homepage.  They are the equivalent of my "lectures." And sometimes, you might want to save a reading that I gave you from the Internet.
Learning Modules Behind the Learning Modules divider, place the numbered list of assignments for each week of the term.
Technical Info This is for information about resources, like Embanet (number is available on the syllabus) and once you've had a problem and figured it out, your notes on how to deal with that problem next time.

Here's how to use it:

  1. Major Points about Learning:  Print up this webpage that explains the Natural Human Learning Process and read it every time you open your notebook to remind yourself how learning happens.  Put this before all sections so it's the first thing you see when you open your notebook.
  2. Syllabus/Schedule section:  At the beginning of the term, print and punch holes in hard copies of your syllabus and the semester schedule (available under the Start Here button).
  3. Learning Modules section:  Print and punch holes in a hard copy of the Weekly Map each week, and place it in this section in order.  Please be aware that I will not have all the Learning Modules available at the beginning of the term.  In fact, most of the time, you will only be able to access the Learning Module for a certain week on Monday the beginning of that week.  If the link for a certain week doesn't work, I have probably deactivated it so that you won't be confused by last term's assignments!  (NOTE: if the link for this week doesn't work, please let me know so I can fix it!)
  4. Projects section: Print and punch holes in a hard copy of the instructions for each individual project and assignment and place it in this section. 
  5. Learning Handouts section:  As needed, print and punch holes in hard copies of readings, learning materials and "handouts" that you want to read and keep as a reference. 
  6. Technical Information section:  As needed, print and punch holes in hard copies of technical information and Blackboard how-to instructions that you want to keep for a reference. 
    This page was last updated, Monday, August 29, 2011, by Connie Gulick.

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