In this section we will listen and take notes from watching a video recording. The advantage of online video is that you can pause playback, or even increase the playback speed if you like.

Some learners prefer taking notes with pen and paper, but in this activity you will be required to use a note-taking application. You can, always use pen and paper to prepare your first draft before recording a digital text version of your notes. Most citation management tools provide note taking capabilities which you can associate with items stored in your library, however for the purposes of this activity you will directed to use Simplenote (an open source tool) because we will be using features of this tool for other course activities.


Mini summary

Summary: Watch a video or listen to an audio lecture, and record and share notes digitally.
45 mins
Simplenote (Available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux and the web.)

Start here

web resources

Stimulus resources

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The purpose of this mini challenge is to demonstrate your digital note-taking skills by sharing your notes using Simplenote and


  1. Download and install a local copy of Simplenote for your desktop. We also recommend downloading the app for your mobile device.
  2. Create an online account for synchronising notes across your devices.
  3. Search for a video lecture or audio lecture (see below).
  4. Using Simplenote, record your notes from the lecture.
    • The first line is used for the title of the note.
    • Remember to include a link to the source of the information.
    • Use tags
    • If you decide to continue using Simplenote (rather than using the note-taking features of your citation management tool), remember to backup your notes regularly by exporting them.

Open video and audio lectures

Search for a video or audio lecture on a topic of interest, or an issue related to your research project. Use your advanced search skills or browse the following sites to find a suitable recording aligned with your interests.

  • Open culture: Over 30,000 hourse of free audio and video lectures.
  • Open Yale courses: Free and open access to a selection of introductory courses including video lectures from Yale University.
  • Open learning at Harvard: Series of video lectures from Harvard University.
  • MIT Opencourseware: Series of audio and video lectures from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Tedx talks: Extensive database of video presentations in the form of short, powerful talks. (See also list of topics).


The purpose of sharing your outputs is to demonstrate your success in using the digital tools, and to develop your skills and confidence in using social media to support your learning online. While this sharing activity is optional, it is important for building our learning community. Your notes may be valuable for your peers.

  1. Share your notes by publishing via Simplenote
    • Copy the share link
    • Post this share link on, provide a caption summarising your experience of this activity and remember to include the hashtag: #LiDA101 and #lida101notes. You should also include subject specific hashtags, to help readers to identify the topic of your notes, for example: #marketing, #onlinelearning, #history etc.
    • View a few notes from your fellow learners by searching for the lida101notes tag. Don’t be shy in complementing a good post by “favouriting” or replying to a toot. It is also a good idea to “follow” learners with similar interests.