This Unit provides a comprehensive review of the process of taking notes in the field, including the organisation of field notes, the important note-taking tools and techniques for capturing as much relevant and high quality information as possible. Topics range from the essential supplies that a prepared note taker should carry at all times, to tips for capturing the most important points when there may be many activities or conversations occurring simultaneously. The Unit also includes a discussion of when it is and is not appropriate to take notes, including requirements for making community members aware that notes are being taken.
Unit objectives / expected outcomes
After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:
- explain why note taking is important;
- use the right note-taking tools;
- take notes appropriately and consciously;
- use the best note-taking techniques.
Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing
This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:
- Fundamentals of note taking (PPT No. 1: Documentation: Fundamentals of Note Taking) (1 hr)
- Brainstorming for interview guide and checklist preparation (Exercises No. 2, 3 and 4) (2 hrs)
- Practise writing in shorthand (Exercise No. 1) (30 min)
Keywords / key concepts
Note taking, observation, mind mapping, sketch map
Components of the Unit
Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):
Computer and beamer, notepad and pen or pencil for each participant, coloured pencils or markers, flip charts, small sheets of paper, cards, small pieces of coloured paper/cards and means to stick them to the wall or board (e.g. masking tape, pins, gum), Shorthand Guide (included in M14U03 Handout for Trainee).