Students know the dreading feeling when a teacher asks them to take notes in some sort of way or fashion. The hand cramps, the teachers announcing information too quickly, the overall rush of trying to take notes and then looking back at them and having no idea what you’ve written. We’ve all been there. Students hear all the time from teachers that research shows that taking notes will significantly help us learn better. With the transitioning from in-person schooling to online school, students are forced to take a different approach to learning than they normally are used to. Taking notes has been proven to have many benefits such as keeping students more alert, organized and focused on the subject they are working on.
According to research conducted by Austin Community College in Texas, note taking keeps the mind active and involved when students are learning different material. This allows for the students to fully engage in the lesson that they are receiving, therefore they are able to obtain more information. Taking notes has been linked to memory improvement, and students who take notes were able to remember information better than students who did not take notes. It is impossible to try to remember everything, so when a student writes down a piece of information, they have the ability to look back on their notes and see information they would have otherwise missed had they tried to recall it off of the top of their head.
Taking notes can be done in a variety of ways whether it is by hand or on a computer, but studies have shown the most effective way to take notes is by hand. Notes teach students to be strategic, and according to the University of North Carolina, notes increase the student’s ability to process and manipulate information in the moment, and handwritten notes are better for visual learners.
A study done by researchers Deborah Dezure and Matthew Kaplan, at the University of Michigan, showed that students who regularly take notes and write down information had significantly higher test scores, and overall performed better when presented with an exam. Thirty-three percent of students’ test scores had improved when they started writing down information. Taking notes actively engages a student’s active listening skills, comprehension of material and retention, according to the University of North Carolina.
Taking notes in class is an important part of academic success for students. Efficient and concise notes can save time, energy and confusion that often results from trying to make sense of disorganized, overwhelming, insufficient information. Students need to remain organized especially when school looks different than it did before. Notes are a great way to keep track of information, and students should be able to use their notes to their best advantage.