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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.59 - Are you typing your notes? Learning outcomes of transcribed versus summarized notes.

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Note-taking is ubiquitous. Whether in a lecture, seminar or meeting, students write down the information they hear, for future reference or as study materials. With today’s technology, students are faced with note-taking choices: tablets, laptops, phones, or pen and paper. As a form of note-taking, laptop usage has become increasingly common in the classroom, as opposed to the old-fashioned handwritten method. Unfortunately, laptops offer more opportunities for distractions and multitasking, which can lead to lower encoding and retention of lecture material (Sana, Weston, & Cepeda, 2012).

There may be additional consequences to using laptops, aside from multitasking. Handwritten notes have been shown to increase memory retention and encoding of lecture information (Di Vesta & Gray, 1973). A vast amount of literature supports handwritten notes as a superior method of note-taking, in terms of learning new information, when compared to typed notes (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). The trend for using technology to take notes, however, will only increase with advancements in technological equipment.

The current study explores the relationship between verbatim transcription and learning. Using a short Introductory Psychology web module, we instructed participants to either transcribe the lecture, or to summarize the lecture information. These instructions were applicable to both handwritten and typed notes, and their lecture content knowledge was assessed via multiple-choice questions.

I am exploring the “why” behind note-taking differences, with hope of applying research findings in developing workshops and information sessions for students and instructors, to optimize their use of note-taking in the classroom, and empower them to seek the best learning practices for the constantly evolving 21st century classroom.

Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11(6), 671-684.

Di Vesta, F. J., & Gray, G. S. (1973). Listening and note taking: II. Immediate and delayed recall as functions of variations in thematic continuity, note taking, and length of listening-review intervals. Journal of Educational Psychology, 64(3), 278-287.

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2012). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 62, 24-31.

avatar for Irina Ghilic

Irina Ghilic

Irina Ghilic is a PhD student in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University, researching factors that affect student learning during lectures, such as note-taking modalities and beat gestures. Her hope is to work on bridging the gap between applied... Read More →

Additional Authors

David Shore

Dr. David I. Shore is a faculty member in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University, and the director of the Multisensory Perception lab.
avatar for Joseph Kim

Joseph Kim

Associate Professor, McMaster University
Dr. Joe Kim is a faculty member in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University, teaches the MacIntroPsych courses and directs the Applied Cognition in Education lab.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University