These days, note taking in our classes is mainly done on laptops, with notebooks few and far between. It’s quicker and more organized, right? Though it may allow for more organized and neat notes that can be shared among classmates with ease, laptops may not be the best choice for an academic setting.
Studies have shown that students who still use pen and paper to record class notes have a better memory as well as an easier time retaining and understanding concepts. So, for those of you whom prefer the old-fashioned way of note taking, it may be helping your academic performance!
The study was done after it was reported that over 50 percent of college students use their laptops in class for note taking at least once a week.
The first study had a group of college students listen to two lectures, taking notes in the way they normally would. They were then tested on the material covered in the two lectures, a half hour later. The findings showed that both groups of students could memorize the same amount of facts, but those who took handwritten notes greatly outperformed the laptop users when they were tested on ideas. Why? Scientists believe that those who typed their notes took notes verbatim, which affected their learning negatively.
Then, a second group of students were tested given the same scenario, but instead were tested on the material a week later, giving them time to review. The students who hand wrote their notes still performed significantly better than those who typed theirs. Those who typed were even suggested to not to note take word for word, and yet they still did. Scientists think that typing your notes triggers more mindless processing, where handwriting them allows students to think beyond just listening and writing.
So, perhaps dust off that old notebook that you bought freshman year and never ended up using. It could have greater use than you think.
By Aisling Williams