Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

January 10, 2017

Notetaking by hand or laptop, an occupational therapy article review


Jessica Hoffarth MS OTR/L is an occupational therapist at Child and Family Development- Midtown office. 

As one of our handwriting experts, she is constantly reviewing literature to stay abreast on clinical and developmental topics.

She found yet another article about the benefits of note-taking by hand versus laptop computer, posted on the NPR website.

In the study published in Psychological Science, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles sought to test how note-taking by hand or by computer affects learning. They explain the differences between these two note-taking methods, along with advantages and disadvantages of each.

Mueller and Oppenheimer cited that note-taking can be categorized two ways: generative and nongenerative. Generative note-taking pertains to summarizing and paraphrasing while nongenerative note-taking involves copying something verbatim.  There are two hypotheses to why note-taking is beneficial in the first place. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, “the processing that occurs” will improve learning and retention. The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is that you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people.

Read full article here