Thursday, March 26, 2015

TA: Go old-school for note-taking

To this day, I can remember where certain notes were in high school and college notebooks.   I can also remember where important text is in books if I highlighted or took notes.   The why's are explained in The Best Way To Remember Something? Take Notes By Hand and the scientific The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking.

Why does this matter?   Because as technology drives us to take notes on tablets or phones, we may be losing much of the value of taking notes.   Here's the abstract:

Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.

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