As in other studies, students who used laptops took more notes. In each study, however, those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.
What drives this paradoxical finding? Mueller and Oppenheimer postulate that taking notes by hand requires different types of cognitive processing than taking notes on a laptop, and these different processes have consequences for learning.
Writing by hand is slower and more cumbersome than typing, and students cannot possibly write down every word in a lecture. Instead, they listen, digest, and summarize so that they can succinctly capture the essence of the information. By contrast, when typing students can easily produce a written record of the lecture without processing its meaning, as faster typing speeds allow students to transcribe a lecture word for word without devoting much thought to the content. To evaluate this theory, Mueller and Oppenheimer assessed the content of notes taken by hand versus laptop.
Their studies included hundreds of students from Princeton and UCLA, and the lecture topics ranged from bats, bread, and algorithms to faith, respiration, and economics.
Content analysis of the notes consistently showed that students who used laptops had more verbatim transcription of the lecture material than those who wrote notes by hand.
Moreover, high verbatim note content was associated with lower retention of the lecture material. It appears that students who use laptops can take notes in a fairly mindless, rote fashion, with little analysis or synthesis by the brain. This kind of shallow transcription fails to promote a meaningful understanding or application of the information.
If the source of the advantage for longhand notes derives from the conceptual processes they evoke, perhaps instructing laptop users to draft summative rather than verbatim notes will boost performance. Proprietary , Commercial , Freemium. Wiki , Tree and Categories. Open, XML,  import from web pages and other applications [ clarification needed ].
Yes, using installed web browser. Stored in modified DokuWiki Markdown; export: Alarms, check-boxes, bullets, phones, advanced links, autosaving; last cursor position memory,passwords on tree folders,failure-resistant self-healing DB engine. Scripting of pages with Python and other scripting languages. Advanced linking, [ clarification needed ] bullets, tags, checkboxes, full spreadsheet, embedding of programming code, formulas, markup. Major mode of Emacs ; uses plain-text; includes ToDos, spreadsheet, deadlines, encryption, reminders, agenda, calendar.
Business and personal notes integrated in same client; businesses have control over business notes, but cannot see personal notes. Part of IPython shell; allows for programming code, output and annotation to be combined in single interactive environment. Listen again, this time really visualizing the content.
Draw, write, label what you understand. Listen again and fix or change. The tool we used was a Scholastic News issue that happened to coincide with our weather unit.
I read it aloud, one section at a time. Several note-taking strategies were part of this lesson: Not only could they do it, but they enjoyed it…and the learning really did stick.
I think there is definitely power in taking notes but does this actually look at deep understanding of a concept and application or retention and regurgitation? Would love to know your thoughts. This is just amazing. I saw Daniel Willingham, a widely respected educational researcher, present on this topic a year or so ago. A very important issue in note taking is the distinction learning from taking notes and using notes to learn.
These processes are distinct and very different issues can be important with each. If notes are not used for review, some learners would be better off note taking notes. Note review does not necessarily depend on the learner taking notes. What a great resource on how to make note-taking an integral part of our classroom. I am planning on using a few TED talk videos in my 9th and 11th grade English classes, and this has helped me think about how to have the students taking notes in a much more scaffolded way for their learning.
Thank you, Jennifer, for such a useful and thoughtful post. Your writings have already inspired my teaching so many times! I bought that one and love it! Thanks for all of your hard work and your honesty. It shines through in your podcasts. The age-old tradition of note-taking with a few more research based findings made this podcast truly interesting, and for that, Jenn needs to be complimented for preparing and sharing such an important part of learning at all academic levels.
I do give them ideas on how to be a great note-taker! I kept my hand-written notes for years depending on my need for them in high school, undergraduate, and then graduate school I even have years of notes as a teacher and I always feel that adding or editing newer versions has been fun and has brought new meaning to teaching.
With changes coming along with 21st-century learning, it is always good to blend the old and the new… thank you Jenn for bringing new light to this tradition. Thank you so much for sharing your finds. I provide the students with visuals and specific phrases in context for comprehension purposes.
I have strayed away from traditional practices in the language classroom, and therefore having the students sit for minutes taking notes is not a reality in my classroom. I love the information on scaffolding and guided notes! I see so much value and potential in that to help kids get the value of note taking even if thier natural aptitude is poor in this area. Do you have any suggestions on how students who struggle with note taking like my daughter who is dyslexic, as well as been diagnosed with DCD developmental coordination disorder can modify note taking so they can gain the benefit of the process without using all available focus and attention on it, and losing out on the greater information because they are struggling with writing and spelling?
Thanks so much for this, already shared with all my HS classes with appropriate emphasis of course. Close Can't find what you are looking for? Listen to this post as a podcast: Explicitly teaching note-taking strategies can make a difference. Adding visuals boosts the power of notes. Come back for more. Join my mailing list and get weekly tips, tools, and inspiration that will make your teaching more effective and fun. Over 50, teachers have already joined—come on in. What to Read Next.
Note Taking and Learning: A Summary of Research Françoise Boch, Stendhal University, and Annie Piolat, University of Provence Introduction The activity of note taking can be considered part of Writing Across.
SUMMARY: Taking notes is a key part of the research process because it helps you learn, and allows you to see your information in a useful visual way. LINKS: Empire State College – Taking Notes University of Toronto – Taking Notes from Research Writing Capital Community College – Taking Notes [ ].
Taking Purposeful Research Notes When students are asked to complete a research project, there are 5 steps that a teacher needs to structure for his/her. 1" " " " " " " " " Notes on Note-Taking: Review of Research and Insights for Students and Instructors" " " Michael C. Friedman" Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching".
If you take notes efficiently, you can read with more understanding and also save time and frustration when you come to write your paper. These are three main principles. Note-taking is an important part of the research process. Notes taken on class lectures or discussions may serve as study aids, while notes taken during an interview may provide material for an essay, article, or book.