Does it make a difference if you take notes with pen and paper or on a laptop? Yes, says a new study, and laptop users are at a definite disadvantage.
News of the study comes via the Huffington Post column of Wray Herbert, one of my favorite writers on psychology. According to Herbert, psychologists Pam Mueller of Princeton and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA ran several related experiments aimed at evaluating how well written vs. typed notetaking helped students learn. In the first of these experiments,
” . . . college students were assigned to classrooms, some of which were equipped with laptops and others with traditional notebooks. They all listened to the same lectures, and they were specifically instructed to use their usual note-taking strategy.
Then, about half an hour after the lecture, all of the students were tested on the material covered in the lecture. Importantly, they were tested both for factual recall (How many years ago did the Indus civilization exist?) and for conceptual learning (How do Japan and Sweden differ in their approaches to social equality?).
This experiment provided preliminary evidence that laptops might be harmful to academic performance. The students using laptops were in fact more likely to take copious notes, which can be beneficial to learning.
Via Gust MEES