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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Written notes better than typed, experts say

Experts+say+despite+the+efficiency+of+typing+notes+in+class%2C+handwriting+notes+help+students+to+understand+the+material+better.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Experts say despite the efficiency of typing notes in class, handwriting notes help students to understand the material better.

In a world relying increasingly  on technology, more students are moving away from handwritten to online note-taking. But some A&M experts agree handwriting notes might still be more beneficial to students.
There are advantages and disadvantages when comparing handwritten or electronic note. A study was conducted at Princeton University, which was reported on by The Atlantic, quizzing students about the lecture they had just sat through, with some taking notes by hand and some by typing. In all three parts of the study, the students watched a TED Talk, took notes, did another activity for 30 minutes and then took the quiz. The students who wrote their notes by hand performed better on questions which tested a student’s understanding of applying the subject they’d just been taught.
“Recent research is showing that taking notes by hand helps people retain information better; they remember it better than by typing it,” said Valerie Balester, executive director of the Academic Student Success Center. “That could be partly because they are using more of their brain just dealing with the computer and typing. It is slower when you go by hand, but it makes you remember it better.”
 Ly-Na Tran, biology freshman, said she prefers to type her notes because lectures are long and she feels like she can keep up better with the information professors are dishing out.
“My preference would be to type them because I write very slow and I would not be able to keep up with what the professor is saying,” Tran said. “I think writing would be best for studying, but typing would get me the most information at the time, so that’s what I do.”
On the other hand, Sanam Maredia, biomedical sciences freshman, said she always writes out her notes because it helps her memorize them and keep them organized.
“Honestly I write out my notes because I feel like they are more organized that way,” Maredia said. “I have heard that when you write them out by hand it is supposed to help you remember because you are seeing visually, so usually when I go back home I rewrite them or highlight them to see them multiple times and it is not just me typing it, which helps me more in the future.”
There are ways to compromise between the two methods, Balester said.
“They are making tablets now that you can handwrite on and this is one of the reasons they are doing that,” Balester said. “Now you can always take notes in class to go fast or record it and when you are studying you can write it out. That seems like a good compromise.”
Balester said although typing is efficient, it may not be as effective.
“There will be individual differences, based on the type of learning it is or the type of situation, but as a general rule, I think people retain the lecture better when they can write it out,” Balester said.

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