This template was born out of frustration with the droning, one-sided nature of Zoom lectures. My friend Kiera and I started taking notes in a shared Google document, and what started as a simple idea to hold each other accountable to pay attention bloomed into something so much greater. The document became a living breathing thing, a dialogue that runs parallel to the lecture.
Where normally in lecture classes, I listen enough to comprehend the information, suddenly I was listening enough to repurpose and talk about what I heard. Suddenly I had to listen deeply enough to make connections, ask questions, and have a running conversation with Kiera as we worked. When we texted each other on the Monday after spring break that we were genuinely excited to go back to class because we could do our collaborative note taking again, we knew we’d struck gold.
Thus, this MURAL template was born. It’s a space to take notes collaboratively with your classmates and friends, designed to run parallel to a lecture, but adaptable to a variety of settings — breakout rooms, reading a book with your friends, etc. Write what you hear, ask questions, explore related ideas. This template will help you bring interaction and conversation into lecture classes. There’s space to both take notes and synthesize them. It’s an interactive space with enough structure to guide you, and enough freedom for you to make it your own.