That study on note-taking with laptops doesn’t mean what you think

Student taking notes on laptop during a classroom lecture

My latest post at DMLCentral.net:

What Mueller and Oppenheimer discovered in their experiments is that laptop use correlates strongly with taking verbatim notes, and, as was already known, verbatim note-taking is well-known to be less effective than note-taking that synthesizes and summarizes content. However, both the authors of the study and media reports argue that these results are somehow determined by the use of laptops.

To support this claim, some media reports latched on to the second study, where laptop note-takers were warned about the danger of verbatim note-taking but tended to take verbatim notes anyway. As Meyer stated, “you can’t successfully warn someone to keep them from taking verbatim notes if they’re using a laptop.”

This is nonsense.

Image via Tulane Publications

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