Collaborative note-taking

One of the difficult things about seminar-based discussion is that some of the most intense, important conversations often pass by without record. This can be especially frustrating for those of us who find it difficult to take in and think through complex conversations while also writing down points we want to remember.

In this class, we’ll collectivize the note-taking project by having different class members take on the task of recording key points from discussion every week. Anyone can add to our class notes google doc at any time. I have created a sign-up sheet so that you can organize yourselves to share this labor, but I am not mandating how many weeks you sign up for (or whether you sign up at all). Some of us find note-taking easier than others, whether for reasons of disability or simply personal strengths and weaknesses. You all know your own capacities. Therefore, I leave it up to you to decide how many weeks you’d like to sign up to take notes for. If you know it’s one of your superpowers, take on a few, or plan to have the doc open on your laptop every class; if the idea makes you nervous, take one week or try it out without signing up; if you know you won’t be able to do it at all, don’t.

When you’re taking notes, bear in mind that you can’t possibly capture everything that everyone says. Do what you can. If you miss something because you were noting down the previous comment, ask the speaker to repeat it. We can all stand to hear things twice sometimes! And bear in mind that these notes are as confidential as what you say in class and what you post on the blog. Never share anyone’s words outside the classroom space unless you have their permission.

Find our notes document here. You must be logged in to your UMD Google account to access.

Sign up for notetaking sessions at this link (use tabs at bottom of sheet to navigate). Don’t try to take notes and lead discussion on the same day!