February 3, 2014
STUDENTS WHO TAKE HANDWRITTEN NOTES tend to learn more than those who type. “They found that computer users tend to engage in ‘mindless transcription,’ which gives them lots of notes, but did not learn as much, especially when testing focused on concepts rather than facts. In addition, at one point they specifically told laptop users not to simply transcribe what they were hearing, but it didn’t work–the computer users were unable to stop themselves from trying to get verbatim notes.” This doesn’t surprise me. Taking notes by hand forces you to engage in some mental processing to boil things down.