Another angle on taking notes - students with disabilities who cannot hand
write notes or cannot process fast enough to take notes.  And another group
- students whose first language is something other than English.  It seems
that a good practice would be for faculty to have one of the students take
good notes, check them with the prof, and then post them on a class
electronic bulletin board (e.g. Moodle) for all to see. (This could be
considered a form of Universal Design.)  That way, those who have weak
note-taking skills could see what they should look like.  Students who have
holes in their notes (think students with ADHD whose minds sometimes
wander) can fill in the gaps.  Students who are non-native English speakers
can see what the word really is - and look it up for future reference.

I am not advocating that students NOT take notes, but that might be the
downfall of this kind of system - the students who won't take notes (and
really need to) when they discover that someone else is doing it for them.


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Beloit College
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Access and Inclusion are Everyone's Responsibilities.

On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 8:49 AM, Norman Stahl <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> March 28, 2014 by Danya Perez-Hernandez
> Comments (30)
> Taking Notes by Hand Benefits Recall, Researchers Find
> Distractions posed by laptops in the classroom have been a common concern,
> but new research suggests that even if laptops are used strictly to take
> notes, typing notes hinders students' academic performance compared with
> writing notes on paper with a pen or pencil.
> Daniel M. Oppenheimer, an associate professor of psychology at the
> University of California at Los Angeles, and Pam Mueller, a graduate
> student at Princeton University, studied the effects of students'
> note-taking preferences. Their findings will be published in a paper in
> Psychological Science called "The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard:
> Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note-Taking."
> The researchers' goal was to figure out whether typing notes--which is
> becoming increasingly popular--has any direct effect on a students' ability
> to understand a lecture.
> In a series of studies, the researchers provided students with laptops or
> with pen and paper to take notes. (The computers were disconnected from the
> Internet.) Students were then tested on how well they could recall facts
> and apply concepts. During the first test, students were told to "use their
> normal classroom note-taking strategy." Some typed, and others wrote
> longhand. They were tested 30 minutes later.
> The researchers aimed to measure the increased opportunity to "mindlessly"
> take verbatim notes when using laptops.
> "Verbatim note-taking, as opposed to more selective strategies, signals
> less encoding of content," says the researchers' report. Although laptop
> users took almost twice the amount of notes as those writing longhand, they
> scored significantly lower in the conceptual part of the test. Both groups
> had similar scores on the factual test.
> In another part of the study, some laptop users were instructed to avoid
> taking verbatim notes. Instructors explained that "people who take class
> notes on laptops when they expect to be tested on the material later tend
> to transcribe what they're hearing without thinking about it much." But
> members of that group received lower scores in both conceptual and factual
> tests than did their longhand counterparts.
> "While more notes are beneficial, at least to a point, if the notes are
> taken indiscriminately or by mindlessly transcribing content, as is more
> likely the case on a laptop, the benefit disappears," says the report.
> Norman Stahl
> [log in to unmask]
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