OneNote in Education eBook – Chapter 2: OneNote Class Notebook

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Previously this week we published the first blog in our series which looks at our recently published OneNote in Education eBook. This was created with the help of one of our #MIEExpert, Emma Hicks, and explores the use of OneNote to help educators improve the learning outcomes for their students.

Chapter 1: What is OneNote? gave a basic understanding of what OneNote is in the context of education, and in Chapter 2 we will explore the OneNote Class Notebook. If you'd like to read more, you can see the complete eBook here:


Chapter 2: OneNote Class Notebook

OneNote Class Notebook is the digital space that every teacher needs for their students to help move away from paper handouts to something more secure and reliable. The combination of the individual space, content library and collaboration space areas enable me to use OneNote to help both my own and my students’ organisation and learning as outlined in this eBook, but this time on a much larger scale with correct permissions in place to foster collaboration.

The process of setting up is quick and simple. The three areas are easily manageable and provide students with the opportunity to access information, develop work collectively and enjoy working in their own personal section, all within one powerful notebook! I can easily distribute work and monitor pupil progress with all of my classes, but my students benefit from using this too. OneNote Class Notebook organises and structures students work, engages students in the process of both independent and collaborative learning, through a modern digital process.

OneNote Class Notebook is organised into three easy to use spaces outlined here:

1. The individual space

This is the area in which students complete their personal tasks and assignments. Each student is entirely responsible for their own individual space (along with the teacher), encouraging students to take ownership and pride over their own progress and notes whilst increasing levels of engagement. The individual space promotes creativity within its flexible layout giving students the freedom to include information from various mediums including text, screenshots, photos and even audio recordings. The individual space can be accessed and edited by teachers, allowing me to mark and provide feedback directly onto the students work. Helpfully, each contribution from the students and myself is name and time logged, allowing me to monitor the progress and effort of my students. Some teachers even say that it is like a “window into their students’ brains”!

2. Collaboration space

This area, unlike the individual space is an area that is opened and accessible to all students within the class. Group tasks and collaborative learning can take place here and can be accessed by students at anytime and anywhere. Students can pose questions to their peers in this area and I, as the teacher can monitor who is contributing answers and responses to group activities. Group tasks and peer assessment are no longer restricted to a teacher’s contact time. With an internet connection and access to OneNote (even from a mobile phone), students group work can be completed with ease whilst the valuable skill of peer assessment can be practiced at home and refined in the classroom. By the time I arrive at a lesson I already know how my students group work is progressing allowing more of my time to be spent helping to improve their work, rather than identifying the strengths and weaknesses. Likewise as a student arrives at the lesson they will already know what areas they must improve from the real-time feedback that I have given in their collaboration space. This enables students to focus on a lesson before it even begins, arriving with pre- determined questions and queries for how to improve their work.

3. Content library

The content library is a space that students can access but not edit or contribute to. It is essentially the information hub of the class. The classroom teacher will contribute resources, home learning tasks and information such as past papers and mark schemes that the students can use. This is a highly beneficial area for assignment based activities, where specifications, examples of previous students work and frameworks for lesson plans can all be stored to help students progress. The key to this space is that it is the teacher’s area. They choose what is shown, what is accessed and by whom. OneNote Class Notebook offers the student and the educator unrivalled organisation and structure to their work and assignments. With students being able to access to their work and resources being available at anytime from anywhere, I have seen the quality and standard of submissions increase dramatically. The fact that I can monitor the students’ progress in individual and group tasks more easily and regularly allows the level and quality and of my own feedback to improve. OneNote Class Notebook promotes collaborative learning in a modern and engaging way and allows students to feel empowered by the responsibility and independence of their learning.

The benefits of OneNote Class Notebook can also be enjoyed by educators and administrators in schools through OneNote Staff Notebook. Please see chapter 8 for more details.


For more information and to create a Class Notebook see:

OneNote interactive guides are available at:

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