Skip to main content

The Digital Student

Digital Learning

Create your own user feedback survey

Learning from recordings and webinars

The best way to learn from a recorded lecture 

Before you watch the recording

Firstly choose when and where you are going to watch the recording.  Did you know that your brain is at its most receptive two hours after you wake up (Hull University, 2020) Although it might be tempting to watch the recording in bed, it is usually best to sit at a table or desk so you can easily take notes. 


working in bed iconWorking space icon





Now is also the time to have a quick read of your notes from the previous lecture and do any preparatory reading outlined in your reading list or by your lecturer. 

During the recording 

Limit distractions 

To keep you focused

  • Ask the people you live with not to disturb you during the recording

  • Turn off the notifications on the device you are using so you are tempted to look at incoming emails, updates etc

  • Put your phone in another room


Making notes during the recording is important to your learning, it keeps your active and engagement with what is being said. Here a few handy tips for making notes in a recorded session that you might not of considered. 

You can paused the recording at any point to allow you to look something up of make more detailed notes

You can take screen shots. this can be very handy to capture any slides used

Make use of time stamps. If you feel an important point is being made then make a note of the time in the recording so you can go back to it if needed. 

Take breaks

If you have a number of recordings to watch make sure to take a break in between. Get up, stretch your legs and give your eyes a break from looking at a screen. 

The day after

One of the best ways to consolidate your learning is to revisit your notes the next day, but don't just read through them, be active. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Highlight key points and phrases

Convert any written notes into a mind map

Condense your writing into bullet points

Use different coloured pens to annotate your notes

Try any methods that gets your to actively engage with what you have written. 

How to get the most from your webinars and online lectures

Learning in an online lecture or webinar has some distinct differences from learning in a classroom. It’s very easy to become a viewer, similar to when you watch a film or tv program but it is important to remain engaged and participate when appropriate. The level of participation may vary.

undefined Check your tech. Check the link you have been sent to join the meeting, do you need to download anything? Check your microphone and camera. If you are using your camera, check your background. Find a suitable location at a table or desk. Although your bed might be comfy, is it the best place to study?

undefined Be prepared. Have all the equipment you need to take notes, whether that be pen and paper or electronically. If the session is being recorded them you have to option to make notes later at a later date so you can fully concentrate on the session live.

undefinedBe patient. Sometimes there can be a time lag between participants. If you ask a question in the chat box or use the raise hand button, it might take the presenter a moments to see it.

undefinedParticipate. Be ready ask or answer questions, do group work or take part in a quiz. Although you are watching a screen you are not a passive viewer you should be an active member of the session. 


Video and microphone 

You may be asked to turn off your camera and microphone for sessions that have lots of people in them, this is to avoid any distractions from the main speaker.  
In Microsoft teams you can turn your microphone or camera off by clicking on the appropriate buttons at the bottom of the call screen (if your are using an iPad and the  buttons don’t appear, simply tap the bottom half of your screen).undefined

If you need to ask a question or communicate something to the group you can use the chat function or the raise hand button. 
Raise hand

In Microsoft Teams you can access the raise hand button by clicking on the three dots in the call menu (see above). Then select “Raise my hand”.


Chat box

The chat box appears in the top right of the screen in Microsoft Teams as a speech bubble.

You might be required to ask or answer questions, participate in group discussions orto answers polls or quizzes so it’s important to be ready to participate.

Note taking and File Management

How take the best notes


You have so many methods of note taking available to you.

  • Traditional paper and pen note taking. 
  • Audio recording your lectures (not strictly speaking note taking but a different option). 
  • Digital note taking using OneNote.
  • A hybrid method of all three!

If you want advice on how to take notes then you might like our guide to note taking.

Paper and pen vs digital

This can be seen as the traditional method for taking notes. obvious advantages are that it is pretty low tech and can be done anywhere but there are some drawbacks. If you have a lots of notes then will start to amass lots of paper. For many people this can be both hard to organise and cumbersome to carry around. so what are the advantages of going digital?

  • if your notes are on OneNote and linked to your OneDrive you can access you notes anywhere you can access the internet and you iPad. No more heavy bags full of paper notebooks!
  • digital notes can be amended as many times as you like, no more scruffy notes with lots of errors and crossing out!
  • you can keyword search your own notes. Have you ever been in a situation where you have a vague memory of something you lecturer had said in a past session? With paper notes you would have to manually read through them all, but if your notes are digital you can search through all your notes instantly. In OneNote you can search your notes at any time by clicking on the spyglass.


Microsoft OneNote undefined

OneNote is available as part of your Future Facing Learning Toolkit. Here are some instructional videos on how to use it.

Alternative options

Reviewing lectures

Many of your lectures may now be recorded using panopto for you to rewatch. These will be made available through your Blackboard module. 


Audio recording

There are two scenarios where audio recording might be a great option.

  1.  You might chose to record the audio from your lectures so you can listen back to them later.
  2.  You might want to augment your own written notes with you own audio recording. You can add your own short audio summary of any new concepts learned after a lecture, then add it to your OneNote classbook. 

Here a is short video of how to add audio clips to you notes using OneNote.

How to save to OneDrive from your other apps

Word, PowerPoint and Excel

If you want to save to your OneDrive on your iPad from Word, PowerPoint or Excel.undefined




Digital Learning and Accessibility apps

Apps Anywhere: Digital Learning apps

The following mind mapping apps available from Apps Anywhere may be useful when planning your work.

Please note that most apps are only available on Windows operating systems.

Inspiration 9.03

Inspiration supports users in organising their ideas graphically with diagrams, outlines and  mind maps. It helps to develop critical thinking, planning and organisational skills during learning.

Click for Video icon  This video provides a 3 minute overview of Inspiration

Xmind 8

Xmind is a mind mapping and brainstorming software. It can be used to capture ideas, clarify thinking, manage complex information, and promote team collaboration. 

It supports mind maps, fishbone diagrams, tree diagrams, organization charts, spreadsheets, etc. Normally, it is used for knowledge management, meeting minutes and task management. Meanwhile, XMind can save to Evernote. 

Click on the video icon  Introduction to Xmind 8

Accessibility imagesThere are many ways to make your devices more accessible. This page offers sources of guidance and useful apps that may be useful in your studies.


Device accessibility

General accessibility

Disability Services offer advice on learning support apps.

The Global Accessibility Reporting Intiative (GARI) website also has a list of useful applications.

You can filter or limit these by support for hearing / speech / vision / cognition.

The British Dyslexia Association also has a useful list of accessibility applications that may benefit a wide range of users and not just those with Dyslexia.