Campus News

Study finds that taking notes by hand is better for student retention

Laptops in the classroom may pose problems beyond students checking social media sites during lectures.

A recent study suggests taking notes by hand is better for recall than typing notes into a laptop.

The study, by Daniel M. Oppenheimer, an associate psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Pam Mueller, a graduate student at Princeton University, was published in Psychological Sciences.

The study examined whether typing notes had an effect on students’ ability to understand lectures. Even with the computers disconnected from the Internet, students were able to better recall the lecture when tested 30 minutes after they took notes by hand versus with their laptop.

Researchers said taking notes by hand allows student to use “selective strategies” when jotting notes. These strategies may be more effective than the verbatim note-taking used by students with laptops.