Teaching your students to fish

It’s time to replace provided notes with a long term solution that builds skills for life. Here’s how.

5 min readPublished: 17 Feb 2021

It’s time to replace provided notes with a long term solution that builds skills for life. Here’s how.

We’ve been over why provided notes aren’t working for staff and students. We highlighted how the system is unreliable, that notes are of variable quality, that they leave departments vulnerable to compliance complaints and that they make students dependent on others for their learning.

Now it’s time to offer a concrete solution. One that gives students the chance to learn effectively and independently, on a level playing field with their peers, while solving common admin problems in the process.

Let’s do it.

First up: hurdling note taking’s biggest obstacle

Note taking is a hugely demanding task. In fact, one researcher even compared it to expert chess playing. It draws heavily on working memory and the central executive of the brain, two cognitive functions that are limited by conditions like ADHD or autism.

We knew students needed a scaffold for their note taking to be able to do it independently. So we built it ourselves.

How Glean works and what it does for students

Glean is a note taking web and mobile app designed to make great note taking come easily. It does so through

In a nutshell, here’s how Glean’s accessible note taking process works.

1. Students record their class By using Glean, students are capturing everything from their lectures. The anxiety many feel that they’re missing important info from their notes is gone.

2. As they listen, students add labels Once a student hears something they think might be important or that they’ll want to remember, they quickly label this moment with a reaction icon. This creates a bookmark for them to come back to later, making revisiting recordings much easier.

3. After class, add slides and text notes Students come back to their labelled recording and add detail in text notes and presentation slides for structure. Soon, they’ll have a full set of notes, with audio, imagery and text.

4. A complete set for study When test time approaches, students have a multimedia workspace with everything they need to revisit and absorb lecture content.

What this does for students

Glean’s note taking process cuts out the main problems students experience with their note taking by scaffolding the process, reducing cognitive burden and giving students everything they need to work with.

But unlike other tech tools, it has an incredibly shallow learning curve. In fact, it takes just 5 minutes for a student to get comfortable using it.

The impact is being felt by students all over the US. Here’s a snapshot:

Overcoming common admin problems

Glean doesn’t just make life easier for students. It cures common admin headaches, too.

With its powerful, intuitive dashboard you can take care of note taking support simply and quickly, saving time on admin.

Here’s a preview of what note taking support looks like with Glean Admin.

How Glean Admin makes your life easier

1. Invite and register students centrally With a few clicks, you can import email lists and bulk invite students to Glean, making onboarding that much easier.

2. Quick student onboarding Once students get their invite, a simple interface and inbuilt training resources mean they can be up and running in less than 5 minutes. No need for lengthy training sessions!

3. Monitor usage Get real-time usage data so you know when a student last used the software and when to intervene and offer support with a simple traffic light system.

4. Manage access Revoke, grant or transfer licenses instantly to keep your Glean cohort up to date

5. Built for online learning Glean’s designed to support students and staff in-person and online

Your common support problems solved

The problems you experience with provided notes - sourcing and recruiting note takers, compliance issues, inconsistent quality and student dependence - are all quickly consigned to history.

Here’s how you could work better with Glean Admin:

In our previous post, we compared provided notes to giving students fish. By adopting Glean, you’re teaching them how to fish.

Moving beyond provided notes

To learn more about Glean and improving note taking support at your institution, follow the link below.

It’s time to replace provided notes. Take the first step now.

Time for a simpler, smarter note taking accommodation?

Glean is the online note taking tool that makes compliance simple, reduces cost and admin burden, and improves student outcomes.

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