Kiosk Guides for Learning

Teachers open the door; you enter by yourself
Chinese proverb

Classroom learning series

Guided Notes

A system of learning with lecture

What are Guided Notes?
Guided Notes are teacher-prepared hand-outs that outline or map lectures,
but leave "blank" space for key concepts, facts, definitions, etc.
As the lecture progresses, you then fills in the spaces with content.

Guided notes help you follow a lecture, identify its important points,
and develop a foundation of content to study and to apply.

If you have difficulty taking notes, ask your teacher
if he or she can prepare guided notes to help you improve your note taking.

Here are several strategies in completing and using Guided Notes:


  • Cues:
    Can your teacher add visual cues (highlighting, bullets, "fingers", circles, numbered sequences, images, etc.) that identify the type or quantity of information to complete?
    For example: main and secondary ideas, examples, sequences
  • Visuals:
    Can visual information (charts, graphs, pictures, illustrations, concept maps, etc.) be included for completion
  • References:
    Can these be included for comparison and study?

Before the lecture:

  • Questions/discussion
    Is there opportunity to discuss the guided notes, either during or after the lecture?
  • Model/checklist:
    Is there a model or checklist to follow?
    (How much do I write? Have I completed all the blanks? Where can I find missing items?)
  • Versions:
    Are there simpler or progressively more complex versions of the guided notes? Can I begin with the simpler (less writing) and work up to more difficult versions that require more information?

After the lecture:

  • Class review:
    Ask if the class can review the guided notes for comparison and/or feedback?
  • Media type, format, presentation:
    Ask if completed guided notes can be displayed via computer or overhead transparency for demonstration, discussion, or developing examples and relationships?

After the class period:

  • Teacher review:
    Review your guided notes with the teacher to see how you did
  • Models:
    Ask your teacher for a completed copy and compare your notes with the model
  • Peer review:
    Exchange your notes with a friend to compare and identify important content
  • Examples:
    Develop examples from your notes to see if you understand


  • Tests/exams:
    Ask if questions will be drawn from completed guided notes information?
  • Student-developed guided notes
    Can these be used for an evaluation? as a class project?
Classroom learning series

Preparing for the classroom | Class "prep"/paying attention |
Classroom discussions | Taking notes in lectures | Influencing teachers |
Interviewing for class projects | Consent form for interviews |
Problem based learning | Using guided notes

Adapted from: Guided Notes Improving the Effectiveness of Your Lectures, developed by Dr. William L. Heward, The Ohio State University Partnership Grant, Improving the Quality of Education for Students with Disabilities