Student disengagement in lectures is a global issue in higher education. Our approach is to apply a studentcentred collaborative learning pedagogy into classrooms through a mobile real-time collaborative notetaking application GroupNotes, which allows a small self-selecting group of students to proactively keep each other engaged without requiring the lecturer to change the existing pedagogy. This paper presents the design principles behind the application interface, which enables students to follow principles identified as good practice in undergraduate education while still allowing for the individual to contribute and interact with regard to their own ability and preferred learning style. It provides an individual workspace to each group member, which is shared with and may be viewed and edited by other members in real time. The preliminary test results show that students are more engaged in the lecture with collaborative than with individual notetaking and more satisfied with sharing individual workspaces than with sharing a common workspace.