Engineers are constantly keeping themselves in tune with the needs of time and hence, they adapt to new technologies quicker than most people to stay ahead of the game. To perform well in exams, engineering students use every technique and work as hard as they can to ace their courses. That is why laptops have become a necessity for every engineering student nowadays. For many students, taking notes on a laptop is faster and better than the traditional method of scribbling in a notebook. Typing also produces neater notes which makes it easier to understand what you have written when you are preparing for exams.
But a group of scientists have found that the modern method of note taking actually harms academic performance. This means that those of you using laptops to take notes during class are less likely to perform well during exams than your classmates that use pen and paper. The scientists found that laptops promote “mindless transcription” and that students who used the traditional method to take notes displayed a better grasp of the concepts learned in class.
Psychological researchers set out to find if laptop note-takers were really able to grasp concepts or just focused on typing as fast as they can. In one experiment, researchers picked a class of students attending a lecture. The class had students using both laptops and notebooks to take notes on the lecture. Half an hour later, they questioned some of the students about concepts taught in the lecture and saw that those that used pen and paper to take notes had a deeper understanding of the ideas taught in the lecture while those that used laptops were only able to express exactly that which was taught in the lecture with no real deep understanding.
To test if the same happened over a longer period of time the researchers told the class that they would take a test on the lecture in a few weeks. Again the students that wrote instead of typed performed better and were also able to express there thoughts better in their own words. On closer observation, it was noticed that students using laptops take excessive notes and focus more on note-taking than the actual lecture being taught and are also unable to express thoughts using their own words.
So next time your attending a lecture in the hopes of topping the class, make sure you write them down instead of typing them. Writing will not only help you recall key facts more easily during your exam, but also allow you to easily solve the more trickier questions that your professor might throw at you. We know that engineering students can use all the help they can get for their exams, so next time write, don’t type.