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Lecture Guides and Wrappers


Students sometimes struggle to come away with the main points from a lecture. There are various reasons for this. It could be that the organization was unclear, they got too bogged down in details to see the bigger picture, they got confused by terminology, or they need help focusing their attention. Lecture guides and wrappers help students focus their attention and take notes more effectively. However, they are two different techniques.

Guides vs Wrappers

Guides/Guided notes

Guided notes are instructor-prepared handouts that outline lectures. Included in the outline are blank spaces for students to fill in key concepts, facts, details, definitions, important equations, etc. Guides are not the same as providing students with a complete set of notes (which does not promote active listening). There are different ways to design guided notes, so consider how your lecture is organized and how you want students to engage in your lesson before you design your own. You can consider providing the full and accurate notes for students to compare against after the lecture is completed. Learn more about guided notes.

Lecture wrapper

A shorter technique as opposed to creating a guide or organizer is to use a lecture wrapper. A lecture wrapper compares students' list of key points against the instructor's. To use this technique, you'd ask students to write down the 3-5 most important points from the day's lecture. Once students have completed this, you'd compare their lists against your own. You can adapt the process as desired (e.g., adding paired discussion before comparing). Learn more about a lecture wrapper or how to adapt it to an online environment.