REFLECTIONS ON LISTENING AND NOTE TAKING
Yes, listening is a learned skill, but it is more than that. It is a gift that you give to yourself. It is a gift that promotes knowledge, understanding, stronger relationships, and open-mindedness. Good listening skills can help you manage conflicts, avoid misunderstandings, and establish trusting relationships. Perhaps most importantly at this point in your life, listening can help you become a more successful student. Once you learn how to listen with your whole body and mind, you will begin to see how your notes, your grades, your attitude, your relationships, and your learning processes change. As you work toward improving your listening skills and developing your note-taking system, consider the following:
- Â When listening, evaluate the content before you judge the messenger.
- Â Keep your emotions and preconceived notions in check while listening.
- Â Sit where you can see and hear the instructor.
- Â Listen for â€œhowâ€ something is said.
- Â Listen to the â€œentire storyâ€ before making a judgment call.
- Â Listen for major ideas and key words.
- Â Use a separate notebook for every class.
- Â Use abbreviations whenever possible.
- Â Write down what the instructor puts on the board or PowerPoint slide.
Becoming adept at listening and developing your own note-taking system are two essential skills that can help you become a more active learner.
â€œListening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another person.â€
Â KNOWLEDGEÂ inÂ BLOOM: Listening with an Open Mind
Each chapter-end assessment is based onÂ Bloomâ€™s Taxonomy of Learning. See the inside front cover for a quick review.
UTILIZES LEVELS 4 AND 5 ON THE TAXONOMY
EXPLANATION:Â Seldom (if ever) would you pop in a CD, click a song on your iPod, or tune your radio to a station that you strongly disliked. It just does not seem like a good use of time, and it is not something that you would probably enjoy doing on a daily basis. However, for this exercise, we are going to ask that you do precisely what weâ€™ve described above and then apply what youâ€™ve experienced and learned to several questions and fourESSENTIAL CORNERSTONESÂ fromÂ Chapter 1.
PROCESS:Â Over the course of the next few days, find a song from yourÂ least favoriteÂ genre. If you are a huge fan of R&B, move away from that genre and choose something from a genre of which you are not particularly fond. You might choose an old country song or a song from rap or bluegrass. If you enjoy listening to â€œEasy Love Songs,â€ try something different such as metal or swing. The only stipulation is that theÂ song must have lyrics.
You will have to listen to the song several times to answer the questions. HOWEVER, it is important that you read the questions BEFORE you listen to the songâ€”particularly question #2. The key to this exercise is to practice listening with an open mind, listening for content, and listening to words when barriers are in the way (the barrier in this case would be the music itself).