Advantages Of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

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“The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking”
In recent years, taking notes by using a laptop has become increasingly common among students attending lectures. It is evident from previous studies that if laptops are used for note taking while surfing the web or for other distractions, it will impair the learning process. However, this study aims to show that even without these distractions, students will perform worse than longhand note takers because they have the tendency to write the notes verbatim, instead of making into their own words. This is a vital part of learning because this means that students are processing the information that they are given, instead of writing exactly what they hear.
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The room that the students were experimented on had either laptops or notebooks, depending on the condition and they were shown a 15 minute TED talk lecture. They were told to use their normal note-taking strategy, while the experimenter left the room. Afterwards, they were taken to a lab in which they carried out two 5 minute distractor tasks. They then answered factual-recall questions and conceptual-application questions about the lecture. The results showed that on factual-recall questions, the students performed equally well across both conditions. However, on conceptual-application questions, the students who took notes longhand did significantly better than the students using laptops. Furthermore, students who hand wrote their notes had less words than laptops users and laptop users had an average of 14.6% verbatim overlap with the lecture compared to 8.8% for the longhand note takers. This study was significant because even though laptop notetakers had more information due to their lengthy verbatim notes, since they were not processing the information while writing, they performed …show more content…
There were 4 groups: laptop with study, laptop with no study, longhand with study and longhand without study. They watched 4 lectures and were told to return the following week to take a test on what they have seen so they were required to take notes. When they returned, the study group were given 10 minutes to study their notes before taking the test and the non study group took the test immediately after returning. The test consisted of 10 questions from each lecture for a total of 40 questions. The questions were either factual, conceptual, or combined. The results showed that students who took notes longhand and studied performed better than the other conditions across all the question types. Similar to the other studies, longhand people used fewer words than people who typed, and there was more overlap of the words in people who typed than people who wrote longhand. There were no significant differences in the amount of words or verbatim overlap between the study and non study conditions. All in all, there was not a difference between laptop and writing when the students were unable to study before the test, most likely due to the delay of the test. However, when the participants were allowed to study, longhand performed better than laptop note takers. This suggests that people who take notes longhand may have better external storage and encoding functions. It may also

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