Study Reveals We Learn Better When Making Hand Written Notes

A recent study has shown that taking hand written notes the old school way with a pen and paper actually helps us learn much better than if we type notes on a laptop or phone.

If you look around in any college you will see that pan and paper has been replaced by a sea of laptops but according to scientists this is having a negative effective on the way students are learning.

The study was undertaken by Psychological Science and according to the researchers, we take in more information when we make hand written notes because the process is slower thus allowing us to absorb the information better.

Researchers Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA Princeton conducted the test using 65 college students. Each test subject was told to attend a TED talks presentation and instructed to take notes either with a laptop or pen and paper.

Once the TED talks presentation had finished the students were told to answer 2 types of questions based on the TED talks lecture they had attended. It was discovered that the students whom used laptops to take notes performed significantly worse than those who wrote on a notepad the old school way.

It appears that when people make hand written notes on a notepad, they tend to write a lot more of the presentation than those who use a laptop. The researchers said “The students who were taking notes in our studies were forced to be more selective – because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And this extra processing of the material they were making benefited them.”

Looking at the results of this test, even though it proves that writing down notes with a pen and paper is better for learning the chances of students returning back to the old school way is very slim. This is because the latest generation of students has become so used to using modern technology to study it will be difficult for them to change back to the old ways of using pen and paper.

Benefits Of Making Hand Written Notes

1. Taking notes by hand is one of the most effective ways to study and absorb new information.

2. Using a laptop can lead to distractions but the simplicity of writing with a pen and paper keeps you more focused on what you are studying.

3. Writing by hand is actually better for your brain function because the act of writing engages motor-skills, memory and is a good cognitive exercise.

4. Using a pen and paper maybe be slower but it helps grow your creative process.

5. It improves memory – writing notes by hand can help you better remember the notes you take because it has a much longer-lasting effect on your memory.

6. Can extend your attention span, making hand written notes will improve your mind and like any other muscle it will get stronger with use and you will have an improved attention span.

If you are afraid to make the jump to taking hand written notes then remember it is just like any other skill and will improve the more you do it.