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Note-taking is a process of making choices about what is important in your course materials and synthesizing this information for test preparation. While you're reading your learning materials, decide why you need to summarize your notes - to study for a test? as supporting evidence for a paper? for future reference?
Here are some suggestions on how to take notes that will help you learn course material:
  1. Finish reading before you take notes or mark the text. You need to understand the full context of a paragraph or section before you decide what you need to record.
  2. Be selective. Mark or note only meaningful words, phrases, and sentences. This step is difficult because to be selective you must read critically and think about what you have read. When taking your own notes, try to summarize ideas in one or two sentences.
  3. When taking notes, use your own words. Unless you need a specific quotation of an author's ideas, writing down ideas using another person's words is a waste of time. You need to understand what you're reading well enough to write it using your own words.
  4. Work quickly. Read, go back for a mini-overview, make your notes or markings, and move on.
  5. Write clearly. Your notes are no good to you if you can't understand them later. Write in complete ideas, not disembodied words or phrases. If you are writing by hand, write neatly.
  6. Cross-reference. If you find an idea that relates to a previous one, include that connection in your notes. It will help you when you are reviewing your notes.
  7. Use visual aids. Draw, copy, or include diagrams, charts, and other graphics. With online materials, you can save images and insert them directly into your notes or print them and include them in your course binder.
Adapted with permission from by Walter Pauk, How to Study in College (6th ed., 1997).

Review Strategies

Why Review?

Information can be recalled effectively for up to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, your ability to remember information decreases rapidly. By spending a few minutes reviewing material soon after you learn it, you can significantly reduce the time needed to relearn the knowledge when you need it. Timely review of course material enables you to improve the quality of future learning by building on a well-remembered foundation. This foundation allows your mind to make connections and linkages that it would not otherwise make.

Deciding what review strategies to use or what approach to take for an assignment before you begin can save you time later. Many students jump into an assignment or a study strategy and discover midway through the process that a different approach would have produced better results and saved time.
Some suggestions on how to approach an assignment or a study task:
  1. Use the summary outline at the end of each chapter to identify key concepts, terms, and themes.
  2. Complete the learning activities for each learning outcome. The answers to the questions in the learning activities are provided and are a good guide to help you to identify key ideas and themes that you may be tested on later.
  3. Determine how you can accomplish the task. What strategies can you use?
  4. Decide what strategy is most appropriate for the material. You may need different learning strategies depending on the task. Ask yourself questions such as:
    • What kind of thinking and learning is required?
    • Do I need to learn facts and details or important ideas?
    • Am I expected to apply this to a new situation?
    • Am I expected to evaluate the material?

Memorizing Facts

Identify what needs to be memorized. Create lists, charts, diagrams or study sheets of terms, parts, rules, data, or any material that you need to be able to recall exactly. Reviewing facts several times over a week is much more effective than one long study session. Practise reciting that material whenever you are waiting in line or while driving. Memorizing is much easier if you also understand the process, concept, or relationships behind the facts because you will have a framework to use to organize the facts.

Understanding Concepts and Relationships Between Ideas

Look for connections between the new information and what you already know. Draw a mind map with the idea you want to understand in the middle of the page. Think of related ideas, processes, or examples and write those in whatever way makes sense to you around the topic in the middle. Ask yourself how this concept is related to concepts covered earlier in the course.

Applying Ideas to Problems or Unfamiliar Situations

If you need to review course material as part of learning how to perform a task, procedure, or process, think about how the information affects the outcome of the procedure. Identify useful background information that will help you do the process. If appropriate, practise or think through the procedure or process, and identify key concepts or facts as you go through it.
For example, to paint a room, you will have to know:
  • what tools are needed to do the job
  • how to work with the paint, such as whether it will cover the existing paint or whether you will need a primer,
  • what steps you need to know if you want to achieve a special effect by using a glaze other variables that affect the painting process, such as the kind of paint you should use, the surface you're painting on, the time of year, and ventilation required.
In this example, your knowledge of paint, tools needed to paint and the type of surface you're painting. will determine how successful you are with the painting process and the quality of the final product.

Mind Maps

Why create a Mind Map?

Mind mapping can help you understand and remember important information from your course materials. A map helps you to focus on key concepts and ideas from your notes, helping you to remember important information that you may be tested on.

How to create a Mind Map

Create your mind map by writing down a central idea in the middle of a blank piece of paper. With the main idea or topic in the middle of the page, think of related topics which will radiate out from the centre. Make sure that you leave lots of space so that you can write down as many ideas that will branch from the main idea. By focussing on key ideas and then looking for connections between the ideas, you are mapping knowledge in a manner which will help you understand and remember new information.

Alan Skoreyko

Board Chair

Board Chair: December 19, 2014 - December 18, 2017
Vice Chair: February 3, 2014 - December 18, 2014
1st term: February 3, 2011 – February 2, 2014

Alan Skoreyko is a seasoned entrepreneur with an interest and expertise in both finance and governance issues. He has extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate development. Alan has been the recipient of many outstanding builder/developer awards over his career in the development industry. His business experience includes running a $120 million entertainment operation, staging large events and hosting 850,000 paid visitors yearly. Alan has been appointed to a number of corporate and not-for-profit Boards, including the Alberta Tourism Partnership Corporation, the Glenora Rotary Club and the Hope Foundation of Alberta, Gem Cabinets, Alberta Custom Tee, and many others. He currently serves as a governor Vice-Chair of the Board at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club. He is familiar with international immigration programs designed to promote investment into Canada and has a strong network of contacts within the provincial and federal governments.

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott

President and CEO

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott became NorQuest College's President and CEO in 2010. Jodi has a proven track record for delivering results in senior management positions in health care starting in 1999. This includes executive roles with the Canadian Diabetes Association (Prairies Area), Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services.

Since her arrival at NorQuest in 2010, Dr. Abbott has successfully evolved the college by:

  • growing credit and non-credit programming to over 10,200 learners in 2013/14
  • introducing a Workforce Advisory Council, consisting of industry partners, to ensure college programming is workforce relevant and meets industry needs
  • introducing the Landmark Group Centre for Value Improvement to maximize efficiency and profitability of Alberta business and industry
  • launching new innovative partnerships that build and leverage partner relationships, including the Alberta Indigenous Construction Careers Centre
  • securing funding for and initiating construction of the new Centre for Learning
  • enhancing brand recognition

In addition, the NorQuest College Board of Governors released the 2025 Strategic Plan in 2014.

Outside of her work at the College, Dr. Abbott maintains a strong volunteer commitment to the sport of figure skating. Her work as a judge on behalf of Skate Canada and the International Skating Union includes judging at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games. In 2011, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity named Jodi to its list of Canada's top 20 most influential women in sport. In 2012, Jodi received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal twice acknowledging her significant local, provincial, and national contributions in sport and post-secondary education. Jodi also serves as a board director with the Sinneave Foundation and is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization.

Sherry Greenbank

Academic Staff Member

1st term: June 21, 2013 – June 20, 2015
2nd term: June 17, 2015 - June 16, 2018

Sherry (M.Ed., R.Psych.) is an Education Counsellor at NorQuest College.  She has worked as a post-secondary counsellor and instructor for over 20 years.  In addition to her work in post-secondary, Sherry has provided psychological support for diverse client groups and concerns in private practice, including:  trauma recovery, play therapy, workplace stress, and addictions.  She enjoys being able to connect with and support students and colleagues through workshop presentations and seminars.   Being the mother of two very active sons has offered many opportunities to serve her community of Stony Plain as a member of numerous sporting associations.  She has also served as Chairperson for School Councils in Parkland School Division for 8 years and provided representation on their behalf to the School Board, as well as the Alberta School Council Association.  Most importantly, Sherry has a passion for learning and personal growth and feels honoured to witness this process in others.

Carla Madra

Public Member Chair, Finance and Audit Committee

1st term: November 20, 2013 - November 19, 2016

Carla is a Senior Manager with the Edmonton office of Ernst & Young LLP. Carla is the Edmonton office leader of the Financial Accounting Advisory service line within the Assurance practice. Previous to joining Ernst & Young in 2013, Carla spent 12 years with Deloitte and led the finance and human resources teams as the Director of Finance at CannAmm Occupational Testing Services. Carla is a Chartered Accountant and obtained her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Carla is currently the Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Health Foundation and she also chairs the Foundation’s Audit & Investment Committee. Previously she was involved as the Treasurer of Westend Community Play School and was a Champion Mentor for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Carla resides in Edmonton with her husband Don and daughter Alex.  Carla enjoys yoga and together the Madra family enjoys skiing, golf and travel.

Todd Walker

Public Member

1st term: May 18, 2011 – May 17, 2014
2nd term: July 8, 2014 - July 7, 2017

Todd Walker is a commercial real estate specialist, providing commercial real estate advisory services in the Edmonton office market.  With over twenty years of entrepreneurial experience Todd is a founding Principal and Vice President of Newmark Knight Frank Devencore (Edmonton), a commercial real estate brokerage firm.  Previously, Todd was a senior partner with Cushman and Wakefield.

Throughout his career Todd has been involved with different boards and volunteer organizations, ranging from president of his community league to sitting on the board of Events Edmonton, a non-profit organization role that oversees the annual presentation of Taste of Edmonton. Todd is a former Rotarian, past member of the Edmonton Executives Association and active certified hockey coach, providing leadership within the Initiation, Novice, Atom and Pewee levels of the Edmonton Minor Hockey Association since 2004. All of Todd’s family members are educators, including his parents who had careers in the development, delivery and administration of adult education programs, which is the foundation of Todd’s beliefs about and dedication to equal access to post-secondary education.

Brian Hjlesvold

Public Member

1st term: January 30, 2015 – January 29, 2018

Brian Hjlesvold is a retired RBC banker with over 30 years experience as a Senior Account Manager in commercial markets, serving late in his career as Manager of Aboriginal Markets for Alberta, NWT, and Yukon. Brian has a strong desire to see Indigenous people succeed, to share in the country’s resources in a responsible and respectful way, and to live in healthy communities. He received his Professional Economic Developer designation from the Council of Advancement of Native Development Officers in 2010, and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He sits as a Director on the Goodfish Lake Business Corp – a successful First Nation-owned enterprise of the Whitefish Lake Band, and is a Director of the Aboriginal Financial Officers of Alberta. He is also Chair of the Metis Entrepreneurial Fund, Past Chair of Child and Family Services Region 6, Past Chair of Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. Brian is of Ojibway and Scottish descent and lives in Bon Accord. He and his wife have four children and six grandchildren. He is an avid reader and golfer.

David Dominy

Public Member

1st term: April 22, 2015 – April 21, 2018

David is currently CEO of Mach Ten Enterprises, an Edmonton-based private equity firm. He is also the founding partner of 3D Capital Inc., a financial and strategic advisory firm. David’s career includes leadership roles in public, private, crown, and not-for-profit enterprises.

David was born in Winnipeg where he completed a BA in Mathematics at the University of Winnipeg in 1978. He attended the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University where he completed his Masters of Management degree in Finance and Accounting in 1980. He holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

David began his career with the TD Bank in Toronto in the National Accounts Division. In 1984 he moved to Calgary where he was responsible for recovering the Bank’s $1.2B exposure to Dome Petroleum. Following a short stint in Toronto as AGM Corporate and Commercial Credit Risk Management, David was appointed Vice President TD Bank Edmonton Centre and Branch Manager TD Securities in Edmonton.

In 1999, David moved to Edmonton as President and CEO of McCoy Bros. Most recently, he spent nine months as interim President and CEO of the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Alberta, the provincial regulator of credit unions in Alberta.

David’s board career started in 1991 with the Northern Alberta Childrens’ Hospital Foundation. Since then, he has been a member of over 30 boards in a variety of private, public, Crown, and not-for-profit enterprises.

Lillian Ruptash

Public Member

1st term: January 30, 2015 – January 29, 2018

Lillian Ruptash’s career in finance spanned over 45 years with the Toronto Dominion Bank. As a banker, she was able to practice a wide range of financial skills including credit functions, marketing, administration, and  customer service. Lillian is a former member of the Alberta Student Finance Board and the Lakeland College Board of Trustees. She is a recipient of provincial and national service awards and has dedicated much of her life to volunteering in her community – ranging from youth groups, political campaigns, her church council, the United Way, and the University Hospital Festival of Trees. She also has a strong interest in post-secondary education and believes that everyone should have access to learning opportunities. Lillian and her husband Larry have three children, two granddaughters, and live in Vegreville. They enjoy sports, dancing, theatre, and family vacations.

Melissa Bourgeois

Public Member

Melissa is a lawyer with the Edmonton firm Jomha Skrobot LLP. She primarily practices family law with a secondary interest in residential real estate.

Melissa is fluent in both French and English in her day-to-day life. Melissa obtained a Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal. Her thesis, Modernity and the Catholic Church: Religious Advertisements in Quebec 1895-1960, explored politico-legal theories on Quebec culture.

She is a graduate of the National Program of Law at the University of Ottawa, having completed a civil (LL.L.) and a common law (JD) degree. Upon the completion of her legal studies, Melissa and her husband returned to Alberta and they began establishing their lives and careers in Edmonton.

Melissa currently serves on the executive committee of the Citie Ballet Society, where she has taken an active role in helping the company achieve its mission of elevating the art of dance in Edmonton. She has also enjoyed a long-standing management role as a director of her family’s business, Willowbend Resort at Lac La Nonne. Melissa enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends in Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, and beyond.

Khalid Hashi

Non-Academic Staff Board Member

First Term: March 9, 2015 – March 8, 2017

Second Term: April 5, 2017 – April 4, 2019

Khalid Hashi works in the Faculty of Foundational, Career, and Intercultural Studies at NorQuest College overseeing financials for federal and provincially funded contracts and contribution agreements. Khalid has a strong interest in community development and empowerment, especially as it relates to higher education. He volunteers as a mentor helping immigrant youth on basic employability skills and has served on various committees NorQuest. Past board duties include being a member of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012. Upon his election to the NorQuest Board of Governors, he was serving as a Site Coordinator for the annual Make Tax Time Pay (MTTP) tax clinics at the Westmount Campus. Khalid attended Queen’s University where he received a BA in economics and is currently enrolled in a B.Comm program at Athabasca University working towards an accounting designation. He lives in Edmonton with his wife Hayat and son Adnan and is an avid soccer fan.

Crystal Thompson

Student Board Member

First Term:  June 27, 2016 - June 26, 2017

Crystal Thompson is an Indigenous student at NorQuest in her second year of the Social Work Program. She holds a position as one of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies Representatives on Students’ Council. In addition to her role on Students’ Council she also sits on Academic Council as a student representative, is a member of the Social Work Program Advisory Committee and is a highly active member of the College’s RBC Indigenous Mentorship Program.

She is passionate about advocacy and takes her role of supporting students seriously. As a member of the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), the Edmonton Coalition of Post-Secondary Institutions and the Edmonton Student Alliance (ESA) she ensures that the voice of NorQuest students is heard on both a provincial and municipal level.

Crystal loves to see others succeed and gain confidence; she does her part both at the College and in the Community to help people. Her compassion for others shines through both her community involvement. She contributes to reconciliation by sending inner-city indigenous youth to camp and does work on an indigenous inner city housing initiative. Crystal is an avid reader, enjoys movies and values spending time with her two children and large family.

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