Fermat Pedagogy – a method to help students make effective lecture notes
Paper in proceedings, 2018

We have developed and implemented a form of lecturing, which we call Fermat Pedagogy, that promotes analternative form of student note-taking. We did a comparative study in a basic calculus course if about 300 students randomly divided into two groups, one taught with Fermat Pedagogy and one control group. We used a diagnostic test and the final test to collect data. We report both the students thoughts about note-taking and also about the level of knowledge in both groups in the beginning andin the end of the course. The main three opinions about note-taking that we find in the students response are that note-taking help to keep focus, that the notes provide an shorter text and but that note-taking makes it harder to listen.The quantitative results indicates that Fermat Pedagogy can help the more motivated students to get a higher grade, but seem also have the effect that the weaker students do worse than they otherwise should have. These indications are not conclusive and need more studies to be verified. This may never the less make a foundation for a discussion on how we might look at our own lectures and how they are perceived, and documented, by our students.

Fermat pedagogy

lecture notes

higher education



Torbjörn Lundh

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Samuel Bengmark

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Algebra and geometry


6:e UTVECKLINGSKONFERENSEN för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar
Göteborg, ,

Subject Categories



Pedagogical Work

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work