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Study Finds Students With Handwritten Notes Outperform Students Who Type Them

Study Finds Students with Handwritten Notes Outperform Students Who Type Them

A new study from researchers at Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found that students who hand write notes perform better than peers who type them, said the Wall Street Journal.

"Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques,” the WSJ said.

The small study included a group of 67 students in three different experiments where they listened to lectures and took notes either via pen and paper or keyboard.

The researchers speculate that the students who hand-wrote their notes remembered more than those who typed because even though they were able to transcribe fewer words, they had to think more about summarizing versus writing verbatim as the computer users did.

This tendency to write notes verbatim on laptops, one of the study’s researchers Dr. Pam Mueller says, could be hurting a lot of students in the long run.

"In one experiment, Dr. Mueller explicitly warned students using laptops to avoid taking verbatim notes, saying it would hurt their performance later. They couldn’t help themselves. 'The tendency of people to take verbatim notes on a laptop is really hard to break,'she said,” according to WSJ.

“'It seemed really ingrained to type and type and type, even when you are told that it is not beneficial to your performance.’”

While this study is small, because technology continues to dominate classrooms in both the k-12 and higher education spheres, it indicates that more research might be needed to ensure that students aren’t getting lost in the keyboard.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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