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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops 191

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "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. Now Robinson Meyer writes at The Atlantic that a new study finds that people remember lectures better when they've taken handwritten notes, rather than typed ones. The research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. '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. Laptop note takers' tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning. If you can type quickly enough, word-for-word transcription is possible, whereas writing by hand usually rules out capturing every word. 'We don't write longhand as fast as we type these days, but people who were typing just tended to transcribe large parts of lecture content verbatim,' says Mueller. 'The people who were taking notes on the laptops don't have to be judicious in what they write down.'"
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Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

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  • by m00sh ( 2538182 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:46PM (#46925205)

    The Zeigarnik Effect []

    Not only will you remember your lectures, you will have constant intrusive thoughts. So much so that you will underperform your current tasks because of the constant intrusive thoughts from remembering your lectures!

    Seriously, why in the world would you want to remember everything? You only remember something until the task is done and forget about it. That is how the brain works. You only need to remember the lectures until the finals and then the brain flushes it out.

    Remembering lots of stuff is like trying to fit everything into the CPU cache. Just the amount of faults will kill your performance.

    Another dirty secret of universities is that professors never ever take a class in education or teaching. They are just expected to stand in front of a class and start blabbering. Most professors have very little clue about what they are doing. Most classes I have attended (or given) have a hodgepodge of the textbook content, random things that the lecturer is personally interested in and filler - stuff there is absolutely no need to remember at all. Most professors are teaching stuff that are so out of date that the only time you will ever encounter it is in books that haven't been checked out for decades. Why the hell would you want to remember this crap?

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas