The average family spends $1,121.69 a year on school supplies for their college kids. That includes tablets and computers. So when an article like The Atlantic’s To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand (by tech writer Robinson Meyer) comes out, parents tend to freak out. The article focuses on a new study conducted by Mueller and Oppenheimer that “finds that people remember lectures better when they’ve taken handwritten notes, rather than typed ones.”
The researchers, Princeton psychological scientists Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer (who’s now at the UCLA Anderson School of Management), found that longhand note takers still beat laptop note takers on recall one week later when given a chance to review their notes before taking the recall test. The trick is processing information as it comes in rather than mindlessly transcribing it. Even though her data proves that students who t ake handwritten notes test better, Mueller admits, “I don’t anticipate that we’ll get a mass of people switching back to notebooks.”
The Pen Is Mightier than the Keyboard, by Muller and Oppenheimer, is available via Psychological Science.