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Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension

April 24, 2014
Brain & Behavior

Dust off those Bic ballpoints and college-ruled notebooks — research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Walk into any university lecture hall and you’re likely to see row upon row of students sitting behind glowing laptop screens. Laptops in class have been controversial, due mostly to the many opportunities for distraction that they provide (online shopping, browsing Reddit, or playing solitaire, just to name a few). But few studies have examined how effective laptops are for the students who diligently take notes.

“Our new findings suggest that even when laptops are used as intended — and not for buying things on Amazon during class — they may still be harming academic performance,” says psychological scientist Pam Mueller of Princeton University, lead author of the study.

This is a photo of a student taking notes by hand.Mueller was prompted to investigate the question after her own experience of switching from laptop to pen and paper as a graduate teaching assistant:

“I felt like I’d gotten so much more out of the lecture that day,” says Mueller, who was working with psychology researcher Daniel Oppenheimer at the time. “Danny said that he’d had a related experience in a faculty meeting: He was taking notes on his computer, and looked up and realized that he had no idea what the person was actually talking about.”

Mueller and Oppenheimer, who is now at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, conducted a series of studies to investigate whether their intuitions about laptop and longhand note-taking were true.

In the first study, 65 college students watched one of five TED Talks covering topics that were interesting but not common knowledge. The students, who watched the talks in small groups, were either given laptops (disconnected from Internet) or notebooks, and were told to use whatever strategy they normally used to take notes.

The students then completed three distractor tasks, including a taxing working memory task. A full 30 minutes later, they had to answer factual-recall questions (e.g., “Approximately how many years ago did the Indus civilization exist?”) and conceptual-application questions (e.g., “How do Japan and Sweden differ in their approaches to equality within their societies?”) based on the lecture they had watched.

The results revealed that while the two types of note-takers performed equally well on questions that involved recalling facts, laptop note-takers performed significantly worse on the conceptual questions.

The notes from laptop users contained more words and more verbatim overlap with the lecture, compared to the notes that were written by hand. Overall, students who took more notes performed better, but so did those who had less verbatim overlap, suggesting that the benefit of having more content is canceled out by “mindless transcription.”

“It may be that longhand note takers engage in more processing than laptop note takers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, which enables them to study this content more efficiently,” the researchers write.

Surprisingly, the researchers saw similar results even when they explicitly instructed the students to avoid taking verbatim notes, suggesting that the urge to do so when typing is hard to overcome.

The researchers also found that longhand note takers still beat laptop note takers on recall one week later when participants were given a chance to review their notes before taking the recall test. Once again, the amount of verbatim overlap was associated with worse performance on conceptual items.

“I don’t anticipate that we’ll get a mass of people switching back to notebooks,” says Mueller, “but there are several new stylus technologies out there, and those may be the way to go to have an electronic record of one’s notes, while also having the benefit of being forced to process information as it comes in, rather than mindlessly transcribing it.”

“Ultimately, the take-home message is that people should be more aware of how they are choosing to take notes, both in terms of the medium and the strategy,” Mueller concludes.


Take notes by hand for better long term comprehension

64 Responses to Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension

  1. J,KOEN (u14144124) May 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    I completely agree with the article. From personal experience I have found that when I take notes on my laptop I never really grasp what the lecture is about as I am so busy typing what is being said. The entire typing process takes much longer than actual writing. Note taking by paper is much more practical and faster since you can use keywords and any technique to bring concepts together. This is however a little more difficult when trying to find the correct format, or font colour while typing all the while trying to keep track of what is being said. Thus it makes sense that note taking by a laptop could cause a distraction in attention, whereas with actual writing it happens straight forward.

  2. Annalise Kotzé (14067634) May 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    I completely agree with this statement. Everything is so easy these days, with the push of just a few buttons you can get information about almost everything, watch videos, book a ticket and even do shopping. most of these things is positive and helps us to complete our work quicker and easier, but it can also have a negative effect. I sit in class everyday and I see more people using laptops and tablets and iPads for taking notes. I type a lot faster than I write, but still I prefer to use a notepad and pen in class because, there are so many things that distract me on the laptop that I only copy what the lecturer say, and not listening and summarizing the lecture. When you write something down you listen, take the information in and quickly write it down in a shorter way, when you type, the information goes in through the one ear and out the other. I know it is impractical at university to hand in every assignment for every subject in hard copy, but I find it much better to do homework in a book or something rather than on a computer. When doing online homework and assignments you always lose time, because the program is loading, or you have technical problems and at eventually it takes hours, and then I remember more from the homework I literally did in my book than the online stuff. I know that technology is a big part of our world, and it is only getting bigger, I just think that we should remember that sometimes it is better to do things old fashioned and that there is not a short cut for everything.

  3. Nigel Mutero(14112206) May 4, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    I agree with the facts stated in this article. Take for instance students in one of my classes, I notice several students playing games such as candy crush, minesweeper or FIFA while the lecturer is speaking. It is very evident most times that they are no longer paying attention at all. Sometimes they actually attend the lecture with the intention of playing games in some cases because they have concluded that the lecturer is “boring” or they have “read ahead”.

    Taking notes with a pen and paper is more effective and beneficial because there aren’t so many distractions and in my opinion, you are more aware of your mistakes. It is also better because most students in the majority of cases when taking notes have a photographic memory and remember what and where they write. Writing is a much more constructive method for long term memory.

  4. 14008654 FR Ntsitsi May 4, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    We are such a privileged generation because of how life is made so much easier and convenient for us .Technology makes everything faster and easily accessible. However beneficial it is to have these luxuries ,they have become necessities to most of us. People cannot survive without a cell phone or study without having a laptop . At university one cannot complete your studies just by normal written class tests and class exams. You are required to do online assignment and get study notes via the internet .We are made used to using technology continuously. Due to its acceptability and the multiple ways of study options provided by technology , technology also has many beneficial aspects to it. If one does not understand the given work there are an endless amount of tutorials on the internet to help. However I do agree that hand written notes are the best to retain information .It is a great method to remember what has been said in class and this personalized form of note taking is beneficial to most. The art of note taking is just great .However combining the two and using both methods (of hand written notes and technological notes)could increase the effectiveness of your studying and your usage of the resources available to you.

  5. 14013623 May 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Distractions are a part of our every day life. I don’t know about you, but the first thing i do when i wake up is check my phone or go on Facebook. This is the same with my laptop.

    Taking notes via your laptop or tablet will offer several distractions while you are suppose to take notes. Learners taking notes electronically will often be more interested in making their notes look pretty than actually recording the information of the lesson. Thus they won’t get all the information needed to do well.

    Taking notes by hand will definitely increase your long-term memory when it comes to studying the material you’ve jotted down in class. Indirectly, you have already studied the work two times before really sitting down to study: Once hearing it from the lecturers mouth and once writing ti down in your own words, using your own words to remember it better.

  6. Harshan Vallabh (u14003695) May 4, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    At a school level, writing notes by hand was a custom, in my school at least. The teacher would write something on the board, explain it and then give you time to write it down. During university however, I find that it is impossible in some lecturers to write notes by hand. The pace at which the lecturer moves doesn’t accommodate for students to write down and comprehend simultaneously, hence in this respect, it would be better for the student to listen and comprehend instead if frantically writing down notes and not understanding a single thing-This analogy was used to degrade technology in the blog.
    Secondly, those who have untidy hand writings will dread making notes. Typing is much faster, neater and more manageable than notes. One can even compile an exam book, consisting of various sections combined and colour coded.

    In the defense of old school pen and paper, its quite strenuous fro students to be staring at a screen for hours on end. Illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome and eye strain are associated with technology. According to Mayoclinic (2014) , a good tip to avoid eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule: After every 20 minutes of looking at a screen, look at an object 20 feet away (6 metres) for 20 seconds.

    Over and above all one may justify that I am neither for nor against note making with technology. Both sides have pros and cons that cannot be concluded by one individual.People should adjust to whatever works best for them.

  7. Mbedzi D.T (14151368) May 4, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    I once used laptop for taking notes during the lesson.I agree with the writer when he says there are many distructives. Another destructive when it comes to taking notes using electronic device is pattern and additions. When students take notes they take their attentions out of the lesson and start to focus on editing their notes. This results in not getting full core ideas and main points of the lesson.

    Those who take notes using hand get more chances of understanding what they are writing when they tends to look for spelling, unlike in electronic device where you just edit your spellings without checking the whole sentence.The writer did a full research and iI agree with this article.

  8. 14029032 May 4, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    Technology has changed the face of the 21st century, but certain things can never be replaced and one of them is the human brain and the functioning of it, and that’s where I agree with this article, that taking notes with a pen and paper is far better than taking notes with a laptop.

    Taking notes by hand forces you to listen to the whole sentence, to grasp it and then to phrase it in your own words and with diagrams, colours, underlining and mapping. As the article states, you recall what you have heard and written down far better, than if you had typed it out on a laptop. A laptop can help you organize your work and save alot of work under certain headings which makes it easier to access,but in the long run, the old-fashioned, faithful pen and paper is still not replaceable and effectively works as a study tool.

  9. Kgothatso (14129133) May 4, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    i really don’t know the difference between taking notes by hand or taking notes by typing them since I’ve been taking notes by hand all my life, so i cant really judge between the two until i’v experienced the other. However talking from common sense i agree with this topic, i mean electronic devices have a lot of things that may distract you while you are trying to take notes, social networks, online shopping and games so you might get carried away and forget about taking notes, and besides taking notes by hand helps you memorize and recall most of the things related to the lecture. But then after all we are not the same, what works for one person might not work for the other.

  10. Zaleekhah Dawood (u14002532) May 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    While there are many students who prefer taking notes by electronic means, I for one despite having the means could never grasp the concept of taking notes via a laptop. I feel that while typing out notes may be faster and more efficient- depending on the users typing abilities- writing notes has always given me a better understanding of the subject material. When typing out notes while someone is talking, more effort and concentration is placed into typing out the notes than in understanding what the speaker is referring to. When taking hand-written notes, there is no way to write down what the speaker says verbatim as no one has the capability of writing as fast as someone is speaking. This ensures that the note taker must first grasp the material and then jot down points of their own understanding on the subject matter. This method ensures that the same knowledge stays in your subconscious mind long after it is written so that when revising for a test or examination it is much easier to recall the important points because they have been imbedded in the mind as soon as they are written down in ones own words rather than those of the speaker. Thus I can honestly say that note-taking by hand us a preferred and reliable method which I have become comfortable with as well as accustomed to and can bear witness to its efficiency in my learning techniques.

  11. 04530765 May 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I completely agree with this article based on personal experience. In my opinion the process of taking hand-written notes forces you to focus on including key information which results in better recall. In contrast, using a laptop can result in the “mindless transcription’ of information which will hinder recall.
    However, it is worth mentioning that a study done by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching found that students who did not attend lectures but reviewed notes given to them by lecturers or students recalled information almost as well as those who attended lectures and reviewed their own notes. This poses the question of whether or not the medium on which the information is presented has some effect on recall.
    In my opinion, writing down information results in better recall because you have to process the information as you are writing it. In addition, writing notes by hand forces you to write key information which means you review only the most important information thus resulting in more effective studying. Personally, i have always taking notes by hand and I will continue to do so.

  12. 13138139 May 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    People have different ways of taking notes to help them understand and learn their work. But I strongly agree with this article in that handwritten note taking is the best form of understanding your notes when in a lecture, assuming that you aren’t just copying down what you’re seeing. Rather listening, understanding and writing down your own version of what you have just heard.
    Not only can you write things down, you can also add illustrations which improves your understanding even more. Einstein once said that, ‘If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.’
    I feel like note taking by hand and pen helps you change what you have heard into a version that you can understand and it helps you remember what you’ve written. While note taking on a laptop might be faster and easier, sometimes the words you type are going straight from the lecturers mouth onto your laptop, therefore not helping you understand the subject at all

  13. 13138139 May 3, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    People have different ways of taking notes to help them understand and learn their work. But I strongly agree with this article in that handwritten note taking is the best form of understanding your notes when in a lecture, assuming that you aren’t just copying down what you’re seeing. Rather listening, understanding and writing down your own version of what you’ve just heard.
    Not only can you write things down, you can also add illustrations which improves your understanding even more. Einstein once said that, ‘If you cannot explain it simply, you do not know it well enough.’
    I feel like note taking by hand and pen helps you change what you’ve heard into a version that you can understand and it helps you remember what you’ve written. While note taking on a laptop might be faster and easier, sometimes the words you type are going straight from the lecturers mouth to your laptop, therefore not helping you understand the subject at all.

  14. u14145449 May 3, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    I agree with the topic from experience.At the first days of my varsity i did not like to take notes by hand,but by the time i get home i would not remember what the lecture was going all on about, someone advice me to take notes by hand as it helps when you revise your work.I started doing so and even now i am still taking notes by hands and it helps.I can even remember in my imagination how the lecture said some the words.

  15. user 14032776 May 3, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    From firsthand experience on this topic I fully agree. Hand being the appropriate word. I was in awe of the amount of students behind their choice of technology when I attended my first lecture. So I was quick to buy my own techno-tool for note taking as it would allow me to have much less to carry around all day going from class to class and all of the other appealing factors it had to offer. But as luck would have it I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. The shear amount of distractions on it was one of the reasons my recall in classes wasn’t too great and another was the gaps in my note taking skills. I had the exact same experience of looking up and not having a clue on what the lecture was about. I however found that the recording app on my techno-tool was of great help when preparing for tests. So I don’t find the idea of developing technology appalling in lectures but the fact that I grew up making notes by hand could be the reason I found adapting to the change hard at first. But I agree with previous comments made that one should eventually try give in to technology . ‘Adapt or die’. Now I still have my issues with it but the pro’s outweighed the con’s in my case and my advice to the new techno-fool-trying-to-figure-out-the-note-taking-tool would be to start by making notes by hand then use those notes and put the most important of the data in keywords on your chosen techno-tool. When you’ve mastered that try remembering what note taking is and try doing what you’ve usually done on paper on technology. If you were able to figure out a smart phone ,you will be able to figure this out too.

  16. u14024269 May 3, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    Everyone has a specific style of note taking which works for them, it could be the Cornell method, the outline method, the charting method, the mapping method or the sentence method. The method one uses may determine whether they prefer to type out their notes or write them out by hand. For instance it might be easier for people who prefer either the Cornell, outline, chart or sentence method to type it out, whereas it would be a bit more challenging to create a well constructed typed out mind-map during an intense lecture.

    The important thing for us as students is knowing what works best for us as individuals. If you see that typed or handwritten notes aren’t working for you, before its too late switch and try the opposite method so you can succeed in whatever field of study you may be in.

  17. 14026695 May 3, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    I agree 100% with this article.
    Technology has a positive impact on our modern lifestyles, and our lives wouldn’t be the same without it. Walking into a lecture hall where everyone is sitting with a laptop or a tablet is an everyday life now.

    A friend of mine told me that writing notes on a laptop is very helpful and that I should also do it. However, after I tried writing notes on my laptop during lectures, I realized that technology cannot take over humans yet.
    I prefer writing notes by hand, as it is much easier and helpful.
    With note taking by hand, it is impossible to write down everything the lecturer says, so you learn to summarize and paraphrase, which makes it much easier to understand later. Jotting down the important points definitely helps you to remember the information for a longer period of time. You can always go back and add on any details that you missed. Using colours, pictures, symbols and diagrams by hand is very easy whereas with laptops you have limitations on what you can or cannot do, and it is more time-consuming. By writing down note by hand, it helps to recall and revise more easily.

    Laptops also cause many problems.
    You need to be able to type fast to get everything the lecturer says.
    Laptops are expensive and fragile, and they are also vulnerable to viruses, which can make you lose all the information you have. Closing down, starting up and setting up a laptop also takes time.

    However, we are all different, and find that different methods suit different people. We need to find a way which is the most suitable for us.

  18. B Cunningham (14124042) May 3, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    I can fully agree with this article and the proceeding comments. I have tried out note taking on my laptop and my tablet, which has a stylus, but I still prefer to make my own notes in my own handwriting. I find this method of note taking far more beneficial as I can remember what I have written down and where I wrote it on the page making reviewing or recapping my notes far less time consuming then having to flick through all my notes to try find that one typed line I was trying to remember.
    The other beneficial part of taking hand written notes I find is that you can draw diagrams to explain to yourself what your learning and, especially in mathematics, you can easily transcribe any characters you need to use which might not always be readily available on a keyboard.
    I think it is truely fascinating that even though we have advanced so much in our uses of technology, our best methods to use are that of our own human body. What a fascinating tool we have been blessed with.

  19. Elani May 3, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    Student number: 14007194

  20. Elani May 3, 2014 at 12:45 am #

    I think that taking notes by hand definitely improves better recalling of work. Surely notes that are typed on a laptop or a tablet are more organized, but there is also the risk of losing all your valuable notes when technology fails. When reading notes that are typed, it is as if you are reading from a textbook – the words written does not feel as if it is your own, thus it is harder for you to interpret it. By writing your notes by hand, it is as if you are studying it, because it needs a lot more concentration to write than to type. It looks like your own work and will improve your long-term memory.

  21. 14350778 May 3, 2014 at 12:03 am #

    Sitting in lectures I have often envied the students around me who are tapping away at their laptops taking notes. My envy stems from the fact that my speed of typing is not yet at the level where I am able to type quickly enough to use this method of note taking for myself. Schools in South Africa are only now introducing technology like tablets and laptops into the learning environment and this means that we have completed our schooling taking notes by hand. I take my notes in lectures by hand and find that this works for me but perhaps if I had been exposed to taking notes electronically at an earlier age I would find this method equally beneficial. I agree with Batman (14116163) comment that electronic notes are limited however by the format in which they can be recorded. I think there is a place for technology in the learning environment and often take pictures of the slides that lecturers put up so that I can refer back to them later for instructions on assignments or to then make my own notes or diagrams when reviewing that section of work.

  22. Sakhau Refiloe (14160812) May 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Technology has without a doubt had a very positive impact on modern lifestyle, life would just not be the same without it. However, no matter how advanced technology may be in modern times, there are just some tasks that it cannot carry out as efficiently as human beings can.

    One of these tasks being taking notes effectively during lectures of course. As a student I can vouch for the accuracy of this article. I find that writing down notes with a simple pen and paper is far more effective than using a laptop or tablet. Apart from the fact that there are fewer distractions when using this method, I also find that it really takes much less of an effort to remember the key concepts during the lectures. As you write down the notes you get the chance to process what the lecturer is saying and its much easier to make sense of the entire lecture.

  23. Kegomoditswe (14094500) May 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    It is no hidden fact that technological advancements are now fully dominating our lives as a whole. Indeed technology has made life all easy but turned us into potato couches. We should not depend much on it as in the long run we in return will suffer its consequences.
    I fully support this article and I’m glad a lot of studies undertaken back it up too.
    Advancements creations of virtual pens on our gadgets wont benefit compared to note-taking by hand.

  24. 14105447-M Davids May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    I agree to this blog. As a first year university student walking into the lecture hall where majority of the students have their laptops or ipads out ready to take notes is an overwhelming feeling. I prefer writing out my notes than typing it.

    When writing out notes, I find that when studying it is more easier to remember more of the written notes than most of notes made on slides on my laptop because I can remember and recall what I have written down. Even though typing out your notes keeps everything organised, writing them out forces you to be organised and focused.

    Not many people are fast at writing things down or a fan of writing however, writing allows you to have your undivided attention on what the lecture is saying which allows causes you to understand the work better.

    However, I fully agree that it is very important that each person should be able to choose a form of notetaking and working that suits them so that it can benefit them in the long run, helping them to get the results they want.

  25. L Gounden (14005426) May 2, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    I agree with this, taking notes effectively allows one to engage in the lesson and concentrate more on what is being said by the lecturer. Taking notes not only allows a student to understand while writing but to also take note of the important parts mentioned in the lecture. Taking notes on laptops is indeed very distracting and students tend to become parrot writers and copy word for word what is being said which develops no part in our thinking.

    taking notes on the other hand allows one to make the work understandable for themselves and can also be used as reference when studying later on. Writing notes down also saves one time from doing extra work such as saving and editing later on.

    Laptops and modern technology is a wonderful thing but can also be very unreliable and if anything fails and the entire hard drive gets wiped out, the notes taken in class disappear along with many other ‘important’-music,pictures,games etc. – things a student relies on.

    Many studies encourage learners to take notes by hand as it benefits them the most.

    Our generation is a technological dependent one, we rely on it too much. We tend to forget that taking notes by hand is what has been done by many generations of people and gotten them very far.

  26. Olonathando Jokwana (u14156050) May 2, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    I agree 100% with this article as I prefer writing my own notes during lectures rather than typing them out. Even in high school, I found that I passed a subject better when I took my own notes during class and sometimes made my own notes from textbooks and hand outs. I always found this helped me remember important concepts for longer periods of time.

    People who write out their own notes remember them better than those who have typed them out. I believe this is because you process the information as you write it down. With note taking by hand, it is impossible to write down everything the lecturer says, therefore you have to summarize and phrase it into your own words, jotting down the important aspects and this initial selectivity leads to you remembering the information for a long time. You can also go back, adding new details the lecturer mentions to what you already have. Also, handwriting allows you to take notes in whichever format is easier for you to remember (mind maps, lists etc.) whereas with laptops you are limited by the word processor formats (Microsoft Word for example). Even drawing diagrams given to us during the lecture proves to be a problem for laptop users.

    The number one problem with taking notes with a laptop lies in the fact that some laptop users have a very high number of words that they can type per minute and therefore end up attempting to take down everything the lecturer says word for word. This then leads to them not remembering it in the long term because the brain didn’t have to do any rephrasing or summarizing which helps you remember things for longer periods of time.

  27. Olonathando Jokwana (u14156050) May 2, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I agree 100% with this article as I prefer writing my own notes during lectures rather than typing them out. Even in high school, I found that I passed a subject better when I took my own notes during class and sometimes made my own notes from textbooks and hand outs. It always made remembering certain aspects easier.

    People who write out their own notes remember them better than those who have typed them out. I believe this is because you process the information as you write it down. With note taking by hand, it is impossible to write down everything the lecturer says, therefore you have to summarize and phrase it into your own words, jotting down the important aspects and this initial selectivity leads to you remembering the information for a long time. You can also go back, adding new details the lecturer mentions to what you already have. Also, handwriting allows you to take notes in whichever format is easier for you to remember (mind maps, lists etc.) whereas with laptops you are limited by the word processor formats (Microsoft Word for example). Even drawing diagrams given to us during the lecture proves to be a problem for laptop users.

    The number one problem with taking notes with a laptop lies in the fact that some laptop users have a very high number of words that they can type per minute and therefore end up attempting to take down everything the lecturer says word for word. This then leads to them not remembering it in the long term because the brain didn’t have to do any rephrasing or summarizing which helps you remember things for longer periods of time.

  28. Michael Watson (14170834) May 2, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Technology has made our lives easier and more convenient. However his may not be as beneficial to mankind in the long run as we are lead to believe.

    From personal experience I have found that by taking down notes using a pen and paper during lectures I concentrate more on the content of what the lecturer is saying. Thereby I am able to recognise the crucial facts in the lecture.

    On average most people (including myself) are able to type faster than what they can write.While typing the mind has to process more information in a limited time period which makes it difficult for the brain to structure all the information. In other words you are simply mindlessly retyping the information without it being properly processed.

    The advent of computers has helped note-taking to become easier. However this has made us all lazier.

  29. Zanele May 2, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    I am currently a first year student and I have been writing notes by hand throughout my high school career and I still do this now in order to study for tests. I’ve always found this method of studying to be effective as I understand the work better and the information seems to be stored in my long term memory better than if I were to merely read a text book or type out the notes on my laptop. However I prefer to listen in class and then write my own notes after going over the work again at home.

    It is exciting to see that this has been somewhat proven scientifically!!

  30. Razeena May 2, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    Razeena Bhol 14156343

    As a university student I definitely can agree with this post as I have previously made notes using either a laptop or an iPad and they aren’t as effective when using them as study notes as the hand written notes are. The advancement of technology has however created the stylus which is a “pen” for touch-screen devices which can give us the illusion of actually writing notes electronically. This can however be a problem as there still are other distractions on the touch-screen device that can hinder note taking.

  31. Preshen Naidu (14106419) May 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    The technological society has created many advancements that make our lives easier and highly beneficial. It has become incorporated in our daily lifestyles, however we are unaware about the repercussions it might pose later on in our lives. Note taking has been scientifically proven to enhance memory and provide better understanding of learning material in the long run. Personally binding a pen to paper in my everyday lectures has allowed me to think faster and recall conceptual concepts better, than using electronic devices. By using laptops and IPADS, I have noticed we become enticed into the world of games, leisure fantasies and never-ending social network regimes.

    Being at university our minds tend to deviate in other dimensions via technology. I can honestly say I’m not a victim of this insanity, but my classmates are. In the long run their brains will not be able to recall information imperative to sustainable learning. Thus, I strongly feel that we need to utilize our hands to paper and concentrate on those words we write since it is the foundation, for a long line of innovative learning techniques. Throughout my 12 years of schooling, note taking via paper has enhanced my overall ability to comprehend in the classroom thus allowing me to reap the rewards in class-based assessments. In university I continue to maintain this technique of pen to paper, knowing that I will benefit greatly, later on in my academic career.

    More people should break free of the webs of the 21st technology and practice the basic element of using a pen and paper. If we all do this, then we become inclined to learn better during our lectures.

  32. batman(14116163) May 1, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    People differ. Our brains function differently from one another. I might find studying through use of pictures effective, whereas someone else prefer using words or diagrams. The effectivity of tools during note-taking thus varies from person to person.
    The results attained during the experiment might prove hand-written notes more effective, but we to take into account the fact that the whole concept of digital note-taking is new to us. Very few of us used tablets or laptops during our high school education-the problem being that our brain is still adapting to the idea of taking notes digitally.

    Also, we need to consider the fact that digital note-taking is not as user-friendly as your trusty notepad and pencil. Digital resources forces us to conform to a certain format. For instance, when taking notes on a word processing program me such as Microsoft Word, one is forced to type and navigate in way true to letters and essays. This limits the author’s ability to express the idea they wish freely.

    I thus agree with the discovery made by the study- or at least, for now.

  33. Jessica-Lee Bown (14021138) May 1, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    The old cliché “practice makes perfect” is very relevant to this article when you consider that since primary school (I assume) the majority of people used a pen and paper more than they used a laptop. In my opinion, the reason that people are better at remembering and understanding things that they wrote down as opposed to things that they typed out is because for the majority of our childhood we wrote down our homework, our tests and exams, and our notes using a pen. This means that we have had far much more practice writing everything down opposed to typing everything out.

    In this day and age, technology plays a huge role in the way we communicate so naturally we will use it a lot. However, even though we may use electronic devices a lot, we use it for many different reasons in school than we do say, in university. In school, we may have needed to type out essays or learn skills on computers but we might not have actually used a laptop to take down notes. In this sense, using a laptop can be very different – you do not need to listen to anyone when you are writing an essay. So, essentially we have had a lot more practice at taking down notes using a pen than we have had with a laptop and we would be better at taking down notes with a pen. Bearing this in mind, the results make sense because if the majority of those students went through school writing a lot of information down with a pen but not actually typing out notes, then they would do better taking down notes with pen than with a laptop, which is the case here.

    I know that technology plays a big role in society today but I do think that if we had spent most of our school days taking down notes on an electronic device, then the results in this experiment would have leaned positively towards those using laptops. It is a big matter of practice so I think the results just prove that if you train the brain from a young age it can help an individual later on in life, especially when it comes to note-taking.

  34. 14243467 May 1, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    The applications that are accompanied with technology today have been very useful in helping students learn or take notes when under pressure. These ‘digital notes’ can then be printed or emailed to another student, which is even more effective then the current way of studying, learning or taking notes.

    Although the use of the advanced technologies that have been released thus far may be advantageous to students’ or any person’s learning, I have found that having the actual notes in hardcopy-form is better for learning, as it can be easier to edit the notes afterwards for study purposes as well as making better sense of what has been recorded or noted.

    According to the article, the subjects who actually hand-wrote the notes, understood more of the topic than the subjects who typed out the notes.

    In my own experience, I also found that after having used the ready-typed notes on my iPad, I was able to keep up with the lecturer, but after many other lectures I found it hard to make the effort to review those notes or even print them out. For the future I will now understand that having printed notes before-hand and then being able to edit the notes by hand during lectures will be a much more effective way of learning and studying particular topics that are taught during lectures.

  35. Juan14113351 May 1, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    As many university students may agree, if one has the privilege to make use of advanced technological instruments e.g. tablets, laptops and notepads, one may realise just how convenient these instruments may become in taking study/lecture notes. However in the long term this way of note taking may indeed be less effective as when one actually writes down the notes with hand.

    From experience I for instance tend to remember and better recall the notes I have written down during a lecture, this contributes to the learning path as a whole, from the note taking process to writing the actual exam.

    In my opinion not only students but everyone else should write down their own notes because although technology can assist in many ways, it will never have the same effect.

    Student number: 14113351

  36. Raeesa (14114501) May 1, 2014 at 2:37 am #

    as a first year university student, i agree with many of the posts on this blog that students today rely on technology to take notes in class. some of my lectures allow me to obtain my notes online before hand and only require me to add information here and there while the lesson progresses. when doing so, i sometimes dont actually process what I am writing when making the note as i am trying to quickly do so before the lecturer moves on and simply copy it down.
    However, in some lectures when i actually write down everything from scratch and use different colours with quick diagrams on my page, it makes revising and learning easier for me as i already have a brief understanding and tend to recall certain points when referring to my diagrams or “quick notes.”

  37. Advaitaa Haripershad (14227496) May 1, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    This blog is extremely relative to students, particularly first year university students. As a first year, myself, I find that my iPad has been umbically attached to me. I do not attend a lecture without it in my bag. the many advances in technology, specifically designed ‘educational’ apps and it’s claims to improve the life of a student, has actually resulted in a decrease in concentration levels and a disregardment of the work taught during a lecture. A computer provides us with neatness and coherence which sometimes cannot be achieved by handwritten notes. According to Makany, Kemp & Dror (2009) such educational tools are useful to create clear and concise notes. But the downfall is that these devices are the ultimate distraction during a lecture.
    Note taking by hand allows us to have control on our learning; diagrams, mind maps, short hand notes as to capture every minuscule information.
    I have discovered by experimenting with both an iPad and handwritten notes, there has been an improvement in my results, concentration level and the ability to recall and understand my work merely by relying on handwritten notes. Sure, we can write on our iPads but how often do we go back and check whether everything has been noted?

  38. 14262691 April 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Most students can relate to the trend of the blog. Trying to get the most out of a lecture is one of the most difficult tasks for a student. I’m sure everyone has tried taking notes on an electronic device opposed to taking notes by hand. I think that limiting better performance to only taking notes by hand is generalisation. Some people do perform better on a laptop for example some people can type faster than they write. The results of a study done on university students, it was found that 87% of the students that had laptops felt that their grades have improved due to the use of a laptop as note taking instrument. It would have been interesting to see statistics in regard to how much time was spent on revision and filing of the notes, as revision is a very important key in long term comprehension. With an electronic device all the notes are sure to be organised very well. Some people might even loose the papers they worked on, or don’t organise it very well. Which can make revision a difficult task in the long run. Thus I agree with some previous comments that note taking which delivers the best performance can be different from person to person. Note taking methods should be followed by students that best fit their capabilities.

  39. Roshan Essa (14003377) April 30, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Being a first year student i get exposed to these different types of learning. in university you do get people that prefer doing things the old way, that is taking down notes by hand, putting pen to paper as they say. i suppose in my personal experience i prefer to take down notes by hand. it might be harder but at least i can comprehend what i have learnt and taken down in class. You get people that rely or rather prefer to do it the modern way, with the use of technology. i do not dislike the use of technology, people have different ways of understanding what is put forward to them. I understand better by taking my own notes and formulating sentences that i can understand and in the long run i remember better. i have tried to do the modern way of learning, but unfortunately i kept taking down what the lecturer said without understanding and this proved to be a difficult task. i would say that note taking has much more benefits to a individual than notes taken on the computer.

  40. 14262691 April 30, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Most students can relate to the trend of the blog. Trying to get the most out of a lecture is one of the most difficult tasks for a student. I’m sure everyone has tried taking notes on an electronic device opposed to taking notes by hand. I think that limiting better performance to only taking notes by hand is generalisation. Some people do perform better on a laptop for example some people can type faster than they write. This blog also doesn’t focus on the long term aspects like keeping the notes in place. With an electronic device all the notes are sure to be organised very well. Some people might even loose the papers they worked on, or don’t organise it very well. Which can make revision a difficult task in the long run. Thus I think note taking which delivers the best performance can be different from person to person.

  41. 13162625 April 30, 2014 at 6:30 am #

    This is so true. It is like how you likely to forget information in a textbook or forget where to find it but that hardly happens with hand written notes. It is also in coordination with how we read things and make sense of them before we write them down yet with laptops we literally coping and pasting and therefore do not save what we typing into our brains. I believe it also has to do with how we get to design our own notes, hence comes the warning that you can’t study with someone’s note.

  42. 13162625 April 30, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    This is so true. It is like how you likely to forget information in a textbook or forget where to find it but that hardly happens with hand written notes. It is also in coordination with how we read things and make sense of them before we write them down yet with laptops we literally coping and pasting and therefore do not save what we typing into our brains. I believe it also has to do with how we get to design our own notes, hence comes the warning that ‘you can’t study with someone’s note’

  43. 14038502 - Karla Watson April 30, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    As a student I can fully relate to the topic being discussed in this article. Technology has taken over schooling systems, it is now compulsory for students in some schools to have an Ipad or tablet with them in class, this is very troubling as the younger generations may become more efficient note takers but whilst they increase quantity they are decreasing the quality of the work they are able to submit.
    When you write your notes out by hand you are able to change the words or phrases to help you as an individual to understand the work being explained, you are able to use colours, which as previously mentioned assists the brain in liking information together, and you are able to quickly take down the necessary diagrams without the hassle of dealing with complicated technology. Even if you are copying someone else’s handwritten or typed notes, you are not picking up or understanding the information being explained, you are mindlessly scribbling down the words in front of you and your brain is not given the opportunity to absorb any of the information in the notes which is a waste of valuable time.
    In the end we are all going to do what is best for ourselves, we learn different things in different ways, I believe that hand writing your notes is more effective but what everyone else does is entirely up to them.

  44. Ross April 30, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Ross Schwartz (14091136)

    As a university student I can relate fully to the topic of the article and have experienced it on a first hand basis. From previous posts I can see majority agree with the article and most likely experienced it for themselves due to the fact that we live in a world where technology surrounds us.

    The article mentions studies that were conducted which help back up the information in the article. Taking notes by hand instead of using a computer or tablet has far more benefits, it is easy to become distraction when using a computer or tablet as there are many games and apps that can be accessed at a click of a button which will lead to poor participation and the loss of vital information in the lecture. Handwriting assists memory, when taking notes by hand you are able to combine words and images together i.e.- drawing diagrams.

    Of course taking notes by hand or on a computer is the individuals choice, some might prefer the computer approach for note taking and it could work for them, but majority will benefit far more by taking notes by hand.

  45. Nadia (14022380) April 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    As a student I experience learning on a more modern way in today’s technology. Tablets and laptops are the more modern and efficient way of note taking, or is it? Researched has shown that the traditional way of note taking is still the best way. Handwritten is easier to learn, and a student can concentrate more during lectures. Tablets and laptops can be a distraction during lectures, because the student can play games do social networking while the student is suppose to concentrate on the lecture.

  46. Nicole dos Santos u14120284 April 29, 2014 at 3:55 am #

    It is clear that most students commenting on this blog agree with it. I myself, agree with it as well. In today’s modern world it is easy to rely on technology for many things throughout our day. Our whole lives are based around technology and trying to make our lives as easy as possible so that more can be achieved in a day. This is an advantage to some extent but when it comes to taking notes in class, I agree that technology does not win.

    Like the article says, there is the problem of getting distracted with things such as the internet or playing games in class. I’m sure if we haven’t done this, we have all seen other students doing this in class. and so there is the problem that it does not only distract the user of the laptop or tablet but also the students around them.

    Even if this does not happen, physically writing the notes down onto a piece of paper helps you visualise what you are writing and concentrate on the words you are writing whereas on the computer one can just type the words one hears and not pay actual attention to what one are writing therefore it is just “mindless transcription”.

    I find that when it comes to learning from your class notes, like the article says, it is easier for one to learn from ones own hand writing as it in ones own hand writing and not the generic print of a computer and so one can understand and interpret it better as it is more personal.

    sometimes the old fashioned ways do work best and the modern technology is not the best for everything.

  47. L Kgaogelo (u14366119) April 29, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    Notes taking at a tertiary intitution is very key, hence as students we have to adopt a convinient manner of taking notes in alecture.
    As poeple we are all unique and different, obviously we do things differently and see things from different angles.
    Notes taking is one thing that we do differently, and there is nothing wrong with that. But we have to go with the method that works good for us, different as we are. Despite what the research says

  48. Lauren Snow (u14009189) April 29, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    We have all seen how technology is becoming more integrated into our everyday lives and how reliant on technology we have become; however, using this technology is not always as beneficial as we might think.

    As a student I have had to develop an effective method of note taking that enables me to excel in learning. Personally I have always hand written my notes as I find that I cannot type fast enough to be efficient in my note taking as well as concentrate on the lecture. I have also found that it is much easier to organise information on the sub-topics, add extra information to these sections and edit my notes if they are on paper.

    Other than the disadvantages of using laptops to take notes we learnt from the article, using these devices puts strain on the users’ eyes and can cause their eyesight to deteriorate. It is inevitable in our society that technology will soon dominate our lives, therefore we should consider using other devices like PC tables which can offer us the benefits of both handwriting notes and using technology by making use of stylus-based applications.
    I believe that generations of students to come, who grow up using laptops and tablets from a young age, will become as efficient in typing and using technology as we are in hand writing notes. With this possible increase in efficiency as well as the further development of technology, the problem we are discussing here may one day dissipate.

  49. u14125162 April 29, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    We are approaching what I would like to call a paper-less world were everything will be done using gadgets and not paper. Today’s generation uses tablets, laptops, smartphones etc. for taking notes.

    This might seem as saving time, easy and convenient but what is it really doing to one’s brain. When one takes snap shots of the lecture’s slides the gadget is the one that is taking up the information and not the brain. People who use gadgets are most likely to forget all the work they did just minutes ago than people who take hand written notes as research has shown.

    However taking notes using gadgets has worked for some students but for others turned out to be a total disaster. When taking notes one should consider a method that works effectively for them.

  50. u14105439 April 28, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    Students do not realise how essential hand written note taking is for their studies… Our brain is a powerful organ and works in coordination of the ear,eye and hand. It has been proven that when students listen to a lecture, write (take notes) and see the letters and words that they have written down,their ability to remember their work and perform well in tests or exams, improves tremendously… Whereas, taking notes on a laptop for example, does not make the brain work in all three the coordinations as in note taking.

    The best advantage of taking written notes is that one can use different colours. Our brain has the ability to remember colours. Colour can connect neuropathways in our brain that allows that subject or movement to become so much easier and allows
    learning to be faster and memory to go deeper . By taking written notes in colour, our brain is able to learn even faster and remembered more easily. As it is proven, the brain sees and remembers colour first! In contrast, when taking notes on a laptop, and trying to use colour, takes a lot of effort and is time consuming. Subsequently, students will miss half of the important information given when trying to use colour when taking notes on a laptop.

    In conclusion, it is best and more beneficial to take hand written notes.

  51. T Khoali (14154715) April 28, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    This article is relevant because as technology advances and becomes better, people neglect the effect it can have on one.

    In this article one realises that technology has come at a disadvantage because it has an impact on how a person takes in information. Before laptops and tablets were introduced, people took hand written notes. Writing something in your own handwriting helps you remember it easily. This also allows you to synthesise your notes in a way you feel works for you, you are not limited to way of setting out your work. To add on to what Lee-Anne has said about coping down diagrams. I have seen students in lectures who struggle to take down a picture or diagram because their laptops are not doing it right. These diagrams and pictures are often essential because they either summarise the chapter or explain a concept in a simpler way.

    Note taking is an important skill that we develop as we go through different academic institutions. At the end of the day we all have different learning styles. Therefore it is up to a person to find a way of taking notes that works for the.

  52. Lesedi (14133131) April 28, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    As university students we are taught about note taking all the time and we are aware of its importance, but having to read this article about how handwritten notes are better than notes taken with a laptop is what has made the huge difference
    What i have realized about taking notes with a laptop is that it requires good typing speed and good memory. when i use my laptop for notes I always miss out on the most important notes because of the urge to type everything that the lecturer is saying and that has however been the result of me studying unnecessary work from the big textbooks that we have which is indeed another good example of not using time wisely.

  53. Clement Mashaba (14168244) April 27, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    I can relate to the information in this article.

    Two of my lowest marks are of the modules that I never take handwritten notes in (during lectures).

    I never really knew why those two modules had low (far from average, related to the other modules), but now it makes sense.

  54. u14064635 (Urvishi Baba) April 27, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    Many students don’t realise the importance of note taking during lectures. Note taking is an essential part in the learning process; notes should be taken down by hand and not by taking notes on the laptop. These notes will provide a better long-term comprehension.

    Note taking assist in the process of reading, writing and understanding. I have learnt that taking down notes by hand has a better effect then taking notes on laptops, tablets or IPADs. There are too many distractions on laptops, tablets and IPADs. Many students use the laptops during lecture time to play games.

    Students tend to absorb more information when writing notes down, as first they hear the information then write the information given and finally there brain seems to process the information even further.

    I, myself as a student prefer writing down notes by hand, by using different colours and symbols. Different colours can help in understanding work better as I classify each subheading with a different colour and write connecting subtopics in the same colour, thus informing the brain which of information links to each other.

    A quick tip, next time when you need to remember something important write it down in pencil; it is a proven fact that in you write important information in pencil you will remember it for longer and will have a better understanding. In conclusion writing in your notes by hand will only be beneficial in your favour.

  55. u14064635 (Urvishi Baba) April 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Many students don’t realise the importance of note taking during lectures. Note taking is an essential part in the learning process; notes should be taken down by hand and not by taking notes on the laptop. These notes will provide a better long-term comprehension.

    Note taking assist in the process of reading, writing and understanding. I have learnt that taking down notes by hand has a better effect then taking notes on laptops, tablets or IPADs. There are too many distractions on laptops, tablets and IPADs. Many students use the laptops during lecture time to play games.

    Students tend to absorb more information when writing notes down, as first they hear the information then write the information given and finally there brain seems to process the information even further.

    I, myself as a student prefer writing down notes by hand, by using different colours and symbols. Different colours can help in understanding work better as I classify each subheading with a different colour and write connecting subtopics in the same colour, thus informing the brain which of information links to each other.

    A quick tip, next time when you need to remember something important write it down in pencil; it is a proven fact that in you write important information in pencil you will remember it for longer and will have a better understanding. In conclusion writing in your notes by hand will only be beneficial in your favour.

  56. 14121418 April 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Reading this has definitely provided me with valuable information about note taking which is valuable in my life considering I am a student at university. I was actually going to start taking my laptop to class because the majority of the students take down notes electronically. I will keep taking down notes the old way because at the end of the day it benefits you greatly.

  57. Naizo April 26, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    Wow, I was not aware of the benefits of taking down notes (handwritten) versus taking down notes using a laptop for example, even when studying for that matter. I for one prefer listening during lectures; that way I understand what is being taught. Understanding will, supposedly, lead to recall (remembering what was taught). However, I must confess that taking down notes (handwritten) has been more beneficial compared to just listening.
    As for making handwritten notes versus note taking on laptops: I think that I will stick to the former. Besides, having notes saved electronically is not always a safe bet for it could be lost in one way or another. For example one could possibly forget to save notes taken (it has happened to me before) or the electronic device used to take down notes could simply stop working for some reason. With all that said, I now know that compiling handwritten notes is much more beneficial than just listening or ‘typing out’ notes. (14018510)

  58. u14025028 April 26, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    As a varsity student myself I was able to relate to what was being said in this article. When going into varsity I believed that the laptop was the better note taking strategy for lectures. I used to take notes by hand in class and during that time my marks were good, however when I switched to my laptop, I found I was clueless with those lectures.
    The brain is able to absorb more information when more senses are used. This stimulates the brain as more than one part of the brain is in use. The confusion though comes in because one knows that the same number of senses are being used when using a laptop. So why is it that less information is absorbed?
    When writing we don’t have to think about where each letter is, or if the spelling is correct because we were taught from a young age how to write, writing by hand is second nature and doesn’t require the brain to focus on a completely different task. Typing however diverts the brains attention from core facts to typing, spelling and grammar.

    Ultimately note taking will help absorb information because the brains focal point is on the lecture itself.

  59. Vivek (14080070) April 26, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    I agree with this blog with it saying the use of hand written notes are far more effective in helping one to comprehend what is being said by the speaker. We perceive the world through our senses. We hear what the speaker is telling us, our brain processes that information thus instructing the hand to write down symbols (alphabets) which again stimulates the brain to think what has to be written and thus recalling the information at a later stage to be much easier. With written note taking we create an interactive environment which forces us to take part in it actively. With personal experience being a student in university I found that when I take notes by hand there is a higher chance of me being engrossed in the lecture and being able to understand the work much better then using a laptop to take notes. I found with me that with laptops there are distractions which shifts my attention to other things which in the end disrupts the focus of listening to what the lecturer says. Basically hand written note taking is much more beneficial to an individual to further their comprehensive skills as well as other areas of brain development.

  60. u14124123 (Sebapu Lebone) April 26, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    I totally agree with this blog 100 percent.As a first year student i have realised how many students loose focus when using laptops ,yes they are playing online games ,shopping and chatting on social networks but it is certain as the blog metioned that not all do that some actually take notes.In high school we all used the hand note taking technique and it worked, it was effective for all the years in school before University and even now.So for those who change to laptops to take notes are adapting to a new technique meaning they will struggle a bit to get used to it.In a University the time taken to get used to something is valuable meaning that students using laptops for note taking cannot recall most of the informatiom being taught in class.For better results lectures should encourage students to use the hand note taking technique which is far more effective as described in the blog.

  61. Zahrah (u14002885) April 25, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    I absolutely agree with the blog itself and the comments of my fellow students. With mere experience in taking notes, we are able to identify how effective note taking truly is. I find that when I take notes, I tend to process what the lecturer is saying and then express my understanding of the work in my notes, be it by underlining a certain word or simply structuring a certain phrase in a way that highlights its importance. When I look back at this note, my mind takes me back to the thought that I had had when physically making the note. According to Dr Veronica Berniger, an expert in reading and writing systems, when you put pen to paper, you are actually forming and connecting the letters, thus actively engaging the brain in this process; while when typing, you are merely tapping on identical keys. Where then does the futility of being technologically advanced end and its benefit begin?

  62. Annie 14228212 April 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I strongly believe that note-taking will be able to enhance long term comprehension. As students, we have developed our own unique way of learning and studying. Note-taking is one of the most effective learning tools, and it is used by many students and learners. Rewriting notes by hand allows the new information to retain in our brains. Taking down notes in lectures will also help you to stay concentrated throughout the lecture without being distracted by non-work related things. During the lecture, lecturers often give out important information that can be taken down by note-taking. This can benefit the individual when it comes to studying for exams and tests because one can always refer back to one’s notes to find out which part of the work that needs more focus on. Reviewing the notes after class can help you to remember the work as well as understanding what you couldn’t understand during the lecture or class.

  63. Lee-Anne u14024846 April 24, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    As a first year University student, my methods of note taking are similar in nature to the methods I used in high school. I have always made used of handwritten notes in classes as i find it to be quicker and more efficient. When making handwritten notes of what the lecturer is saying, you are required to listen comprehensively to what he/ she is saying to rewrite the information quickly and in your own words. A habit of using a computer is trying to type out exactly what the lecturer says, consequently not really listening to and understanding what he/ she says as you try to keep up with his/ her pace. A major inconvenience which I have observed for students using computers or tablets during lectures is the drawing or copying of diagrams or charts from the board or the lecturer’s presentation. Many of these diagrams are key components of the study material and as a result of not being able to draw them, these students will be affected negatively. Recent technological developments, however, have incorporated both aspects of computer and handwritten notes in the form of computer/ tablet note taking applications which enable students to make digital notes in their own handwriting. These applications are beneficial as they enable the student to understand and comprehend the study material as well as have neat, organised and safely saved notes.

  64. u13205766 April 24, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I am a student in university, and I have realized the importance of hand written note taking versus typing out notes on a notebook. I am able to remember key points more vividly from a lecture, being able to recall such information when I am studying through my written notes. I reckon that this has to do with the fact that when you write out notes, you cannot produce as many words per minute, unlike if you had to type it out on a laptop. As such, you are forced to process what the Lecturer says, and record key points without the “mindless transcription”.

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