Take Notes By Hand

As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing notes is faster – which comes in handy when there’s a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.
For one thing, research shows that laptops and tablets have a tendency to be distracting – it’s easy to click over to Facebook in dull lectures. And a study has shown that the fact that you have to be slower when you take3 notes buy hand is what makes it more useful in the long run.
In the study published by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, they sought to test how note-taking by hand or by computer affects learning.
“When people type their not3es, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can,” Meuller stated. “The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective – because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them.”
Meuller & Oppenheimer cited that note-taking can be categorized two ways:
Generative and Non=Generative. Generative note-taking pertains to “summarizing, paraphrasing, concept mapping,” while non-generative note-taking involves copying something verbatim.
The generative, slower writing of notes will improve “learning and retention.” The study showed that when writing longhand, you process the information better but have less to look back at.
Students who take notes by hand, in all studies performed better on conceptual learning than those who used laptops or tablets.
It may be a hard sell to get people to go back to pen and paper, but there are lots of technologies now like Livescribe and various stylus and tablet technologies that are getting better and better. This may be an easier sell to college students and people of this generation.

Leave a Reply