Recording Tools

What people say has significance and we honour the families we support by trying to record that information, to give value to their expressions and return to those words later if needed. What people say allows us to understand their belief systems and experiences, and recording meeting minutes has become a space for review, accountability and contemplation (10). Evidence also suggests that our memories are not reliable, with most forgetting what was said in a matter of minutes (11).

Ways to Record Information

  • A participant is responsible for recording minutes manually - they can be affiliated or a neutral party

  • Recording the meeting using technology such as a Dictaphone or other type of voice recorder

  • Individuals take their own notes and share them with other participants following the meeting

  • A shared document where information can be recorded, before, during and after the meeting

There are several key considerations that should be thought about when information is recorded.

Is it Impartial?

If the person who recorded the meeting minutes is connected to the reasons for the meeting taking place, there may be times when their own work is at the centre of reflection. When that person is being challenged, there must be a way to think about how they can record this information without emotion.

Is it Consistent?

When tracking minutes from one meeting to the next, will there be a pattern that can be easily followed so that the interpretations of the information are clear? Meeting notes do not have to be a verbatim of every word that was said (this would be a difficult task) but there should be some structure as to what is important to record. Include decisions, updates, outstanding goals, queries and concerns.

Is it Comprehensive?

It might be important to reflect on who attended the meeting or who had to give apologies, where the meeting took place, the date and time, who minuted the meeting and what the key issues to be discussed were. Creating a meeting minute template is a useful way to prepare to record information in a full way. Not all meetings will take the same shape, so perhaps consider having different templates for different types of meetings.

Is it Useful?

The pedagogy makes clear that time for consolidation in plenaries provides a key point of learning new content. Meeting notes can become a key point of consolidation by allowing participants time to reflect on what was said. Too often a meeting might be held and notes recorded, but this information is not shared with the key stakeholders. Make use of this information by sharing the actions with all involved.

(10) Gibson, D. (2022). Minutes of History: Talk and Its Written Incarnations. Social Science History, 46(3), 643-669. doi:10.1017/ssh.2022.4

(11) Stafford, L. and Daly, J.A. (1984), Conversational Memory. Human Communication Research, 10: 379-402.

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