Revising lecture notes: how revision, pauses, and partners affect note taking and achievement
Note taking has been categorized as a two-stage process: the recording of notes and the review of notes. We contend that note taking might best involve a three-stage process where the missing stage is revision. This study investigated the benefits of revising lecture notes and addressed two questions: First, is revision more effective than non-revision? Second, what revision method is best? Experiment 1 addressed the first question by comparing the performance of participants who revise or recopy lecture notes. Experiment 2 addressed the second question by investigating whether revision was best done (a) during pauses throughout the lecture or one equally-timed pause after the lecture, and (b) with a partner or alone. Dependent measures were original and additional notes and fact and relationship test scores. Results upheld three effects: (a) a modest revision effect—revisers recorded more additional notes and achieved somewhat higher scores on relationship items than re-copiers, (b) a pause effect—those revising during pauses outperformed those revising after the lecture on the notes and achievement measures, and (c) a modest partner effect—those revising with partners recorded more original notes than those revising alone. Furthermore, the combination of pauses and partners has merit and holds promise as a means for revision. Overall, findings suggested that revision is a new student-centered means to boost lecture note taking and achievement.
KeywordsNote taking Note revision Lecture pauses Collaborative learning Achievement
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