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The Digital Student: Audio Notetaking

"The thing I like most about Glean is that it eases a lot of anxiety because you know that if you’re not in the best space to take something in, you have another chance to do that in your own time."

Student with endometriosis and diagnoses of ADHD and Dyslexia, Glean website

Creating audio notes

Taking notes is an important part of studying in higher education. However, it can be difficult to capture both information that is being spoken alongside your thoughts and reflections on it. Audio notetaking focuses on audio recording lectures so you don't miss anything out. It then allows you to annotate in the moment, ensuring your can focus on listening and capturing key ideas. When you use software to facilitate this, it can later help you engage with the lecture recording and your notes. It helps you draw connections between the lecture and your own notes. Used actively, it is a great way to facilitate learning.

This page focuses on the software Glean which you can access as a University of Hull student by requesting a license (see below). Glean is an online program compatible with Windows and macOS devices , which is accessible through the website Additionally, it offers a companion app called the 'Glean Notes App' available for Android and iOS devices.

You can access notes created in one version in the other, so it’s useful for reviewing even if you don’t use a laptop in lectures.

Glean (online) - The Personal Study Tool that makes you a confident learner

Glean is an educational technology tool designed to assist students in enhancing their learning experiences by providing a platform for more effective note-taking, review, and engagement with educational content.  Benefits of using it include:

Synchronized Audio Recording: Glean's standout feature is its capability to record audio while students take notes. The recorded audio is perfectly synchronized with the notes, allowing students to revisit lectures or discussions exactly as they occurred. This feature enhances comprehension and recall.

Active Learning: Glean promotes active engagement with the content. Students can flag parts of the audio where they are confused or need further clarification. They can also highlight and annotate their notes to emphasize key points, fostering an interactive learning experience.

Accessibility and Inclusivity: Glean is designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that students with disabilities can benefit from its features. It includes functionality like transcription and closed captioning, making the content more inclusive and accessible to a wider range of students.

Search and NavigationThe platform provides a robust search function, enabling students to efficiently locate specific sections within the recorded content and their notes. This feature is particularly valuable when studying for exams or working on assignments, as it facilitates quick access to relevant information.

Collaboration: Glean often supports collaboration features, allowing students to share their notes and audio recordings with peers. This can be beneficial for group projects or study sessions.

Review and Revision: Glean is excellent for review and revision purposes. Students can revisit their notes and the audio recordings to reinforce their understanding of the material.

Integration with Learning Management Systems: In many cases, Glean can integrate with learning management systems (LMS) commonly used in educational institutions, making it easier for students to access their notes and recordings within the context of their courses.

Privacy and Data Security: Glean typically takes student privacy and data security seriously. It complies with relevant data protection regulations to ensure the safety of students' educational records.

What is Glean?

Glean is a powerful Windows and macOS software package. It turns audio into visual blocks which you can then add notes to. Your notes can be structured using coloured labels, and combined with images and text notes.

Students at the University of Hull can use Glean. Email to request a license.

Glean Notes (app)

Glean Notes serves as the mobile companion application for Glean. The app allows users to generate high-quality audio recordings, annotate specific audio segments using symbols to highlight importance or the need for review, and include text notes and photographs alongside the audio content. Once a recording is finished, it can be played on a user's mobile device while the app operates in the background.

How does it work?

Recording is compatible with any smartphone or tablet, and you have the ability to fine-tune the playback speed, pitch, minimise computer click noises in the audio, and eliminate background noise.

Once you have made a recording you can review it any time you like and then open it in Glean either by visiting the Glean website on a PC or by using the Glean app.

How can you get it?

You can easily access the app on both iOS and Android. Just sign in using the email address you initially used to register for Glean when you received the invitation in your University Outlook email after your inquiry.

How will it help you?

The video here shows you the benefits of using the Glean mobile app. It is designed to take the stress out of notetaking even if you don't have a laptop to take with you to lectures.

Help with Glean

If you have any questions about Glean, you can contact the learning support team via the MyHull Portal. Simply 'ask a question' to student services (see help video for MyHull). For help with Glean, see the video tips below which cover:

  • Note taking basics
  • Using your notes
  • Working with slides
  • Recording online
  • Working offline
  • Quick action keys
  • Lightning mode
  • Honing notes after class
  • Getting creative with emoji

Help Videos