Skip to Main Content

2021 Anywhere Anytime Learning: Using OneNote


Application of OneNote and Student Skill Development

OneNote is a collaborative notebook which is useful for gathering students notes. Well structured notebooks with clear instruction can enable students to work effectively both independently and collaboratively. Teaching tools and strategies can be embedded into the OneNote pages to develop the following skills:

Communication skills - teachers have access to students notes and can give continuous feedback to guide students progress.

Thinking skills - teachers can use strategies to capture students creative and critical thinking through the use of tools such as brainstorming and venn diagrams.

Research skills - teachers can use strategies like the inquiry process to step students through the stages of developing knowledge through planning, researching, presentating and evaluating.

Social skills - teachers can add lessons to the collaborative space to allow students to work in teams. This works effectively when the students have a clearly defined role which can be easily structured through the use of tables.

Self Management skills - By providing students with a task that is clear and well structured students are given the opportunity to take ownership of their learning. 

Typical OneNote Scenarios

Update - April 29 2020

My OneNote is not synchronising

OneNote is delivered via the browser and dependent on internet connection, as a result we regularly see issues with the synchronisation of teachers and students work. Functions commonly affected by the syncing issues are during the:

  • The creation of class notebooks can take time
  • The distribution of pages can take time

To avoid most of these issues, major changes to Notebooks should be made 24 to 48 hours in advance of the lessons.

I don't have a lot of time, will OneNote work?

  • Be mindful of how much data you are adding to your OneNote as more data takes more time to sync
  • Check that your App is syncing to the browser
  • If in doubt work in the browser, generally what the teacher can see in the browser is what the student can see and visa versa.

The student cannot see the my lesson in the content library and I cannot see the student work

  • There may be an issue with the App. Close and reopen the App to re-establish the connection to the browser.

How should students find and access their notebook?

Students may have multiple notebooks created for them. This can cause confusion if the OneNote is not clearly named.

  • Follow the Servite College convention when naming a Notebook e.g. 8745 - 10 Physical Education - La Spina - 2020​
  • Share a link to the NoteBook on the SEQTA cover page

Understand the difference between the App v Web Browser

  • The App provides more formatting functions than theWeb  Browser
  • There is a lag between the App and the Browser
  • Allow 24 - 48 hours to avoid sync issues

Notebook versus Textbook

  • OneNote is a notebook, it is an effective note-capturing and note-taking tool.
  • OneNote can be used as a textbook however if it contains too many images and videos it becomes overloaded and slow.
  • Textbook type notebooks that are not student centered can be stagnant and boring.

Notebooks should be engaging and intrinsically motivating

Use the following checklist from Bell, 2020 to engender motivation in students:

  • Give clear and effective instruction
  • Use engaging multimedia avoiding large file sizes (embed links rather than files)
  • Use an appropriate level of challenge –  tailored to students at different levels
  • Give clear goals with inherent, clear reward structures
  • Give immediate and continual feedback
  • A sense of progress (levelling up) as the students progress through materials/activities
  • Use a narrative/curve of interest – hard to do but can provide great engagement – sometimes presented as big picture learning
  • Consider aesthetics – evidence shows that if it looks good, engagement is better/longer
  • Avoid fear of failure reduced – means of giving students repeat attempts, practice tests etc.
  • Offer student control over actions – perhaps choice between deliverables (a video presentation rather than a paper etc.)

Structure a OneNote for Class

Quick Start for One Note Mac Version

Save OneNote as a PDF