Here’s a link to a brief story describing the study I mentioned in a lecture in Week 2 regarding how taking notes via laptop differs, cognitively speaking, from taking notes by hand.
14 years ago when I started at Tufts, I’d say less than half of each class had a laptop with them. Today, when I look out at the lecture hall, I see an army of hundreds of glowing apples staring back at me.
So what do you make of this argument that note-taking by laptop leads to lower-effort cognitive processes? Do you buy the research finding? Are you tempted to change your own note-taking strategies, at least for in-person classes? Why or why not?
Based on this research, as well as complaints from students that they found other people’s laptop use distracting to them during class (sort of the second-hand smoke argument), I banned laptops for the first time in PSY 13 two years ago. Another factor in this decision was the downside of multi-tasking, as I know I can’t be trusted to pay attention and engage when I have my laptop/phone available. The no-laptop rule seemed to go pretty well this past spring in my class. But what do you think about such rules and about this particular study?