Longhand Note-Taking Improves Academic Performance, Long-Term Comprehension
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.
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