Difference between revisions of "Note-Taking: Coordination"

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==Note-Taking: Coordinating content with notes==
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Aaron Bauer, Ken Koedinger
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*PI: Aaron Bauer
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*Key faculty: Ken Koedinger
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*Studies: 1 complete
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{| border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5" style="text-align: left;"
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| '''Study Start Date''' || March 1, 2008
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|-
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| '''Study End Date''' || March 27, 2008
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|-
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| '''Laboratory Study''' ||
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|-
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| '''LearnLab Course''' || Causal and Statistical Reasoning (OLI)
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|-
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| '''Number of Students''' || 51
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|-
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| '''Total Participant Hours''' || 120
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|-
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| '''DataShop''' || Will attach file, May ‘08
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|}
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== Abstract ==
 
== Abstract ==
Note-taking has been found to be an effective learning activity, though it is unclear why this may be. One hypothesis we are pursuing is that note-taking requires students to actively coordinate multiple versions of the same material. Previous research has found that simultaneously coordinating multiple sources facilitates learning (Wiley 2001). Note-taking often involves the creation of a separate representation of the learning material, which remains available for review while the student is learning new material. If the availability of multiple sources is responsible for positive learning outcomes, then note-taking methods such as highlighting, which does not produce a separate copy of the learning materials, should not produce similar learning results to copy-paste. This is a ''coordinative learning'' hypothesis of note-taking.  
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This project examines the part the presence of a notepad plays in the educational benefits of note-taking. Some forms of note-taking involve the creation of a document that is available while they are reading learning materials. Such is the case when students record notes on a blank piece of paper, or type or paste them into a text-editor underneath a browser. In other forms of note-taking, such as highlighting, students lose access to their notes when they change pages. By comparing interfaces that do and do not include a notepad, this project explores the hypothesis that the availability of notes allows students to coordinate what they are learning with what they are learning, strengthening the connections between [[knowledge components]].
  
The study described here will compare two forms of note-taking, copy-paste and highlighting. They share a similar selection-based interaction. In both conditions, to record a note students select the important material with the cursor. In the copy-paste condition, students then copy the selection to a notepad. In the highlighting condition, students highlight the note, which changes its background. Notes are thus not available in subsequent pages.  
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==Glossary==
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* [[Co-presence Of Text]]: The principle that having multiple related documents simultaneously available increases learning by increasing connections made between knowledge components.
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*Note-taking: The act of recording ideas from learning material, either by marking up the learning material directly or creating a separate sheet of “notes.”
 +
*Select/ion: This term is used in the context of this study to identify the behavior of using the mouse and cursor to actively highlight a portion of digital text. Selection is first step for several online note-taking techniques, including copy-paste and annotation.
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*Copy-Paste: This is the act of selecting material, copying it to the computer clipboard (via a keyboard shortcut or menu), and then pasting it into students’ notes.  
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*Highlighting:The act of creating a lasting distinction between the selected text and the main content. For example, through creating a yellow background or underlining the text.
  
For information on the note-taking project see the [[Note-Taking_Technologies|top-level page.]]
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==Research Question==
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Previous studies have shown that the simultaneous presence of related texts increases learning. Does the simple presence of a notepad play the same role for note-takers?
  
== Glossary ==
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==Background and Significance==
  
''Note-taking:'' The act of recording ideas from learning material, either by marking up the learning material directly or creating a separate sheet of “notes.
+
There is a long history of research connecting note-taking with increased performance on learning outcomes. While some researchers believe note-taking gains are achieved when students connect learning materials with prior knowledge, there is little behavioral data to support such a thesis. Students' notes rarely show indications of material external to what they are learning. In fact, notes are often recorded verbatim. Still, there is evidence that note-takers perform better on tests addressing robust learning measures (Peper and Mayer, 1986), which should derive from such connective behavior.
  
''Select/ion:'' This term is used in the context of this study to identify the behavior of using the mouse and cursor to actively highlight a portion of digital text. Selection is first step for several online note-taking techniques, including copy-paste and annotation.
+
Previous research has found that simultaneously coordinating multiple sources facilitates learning (Wiley 2001). Note-taking often involves the creation of a separate representation of the learning material, which remains available for review while the student is learning new material. If the availability of multiple sources is responsible for positive learning outcomes, then note-taking methods such as highlighting, which does not produce a separate copy of the learning materials, should not produce similar learning results to copy-paste. This is a [[Coordinative Learning]] hypothesis of note-taking.
  
''Copy-Paste:'' This is the act of selecting material, copying it to the computer clipboard (via a keyboard shortcut or menu), and then pasting it into students’ notes.  
+
For information on the note-taking project see the [[Note-Taking_Technologies|top-level page.]]
  
''Highlighting:'' The act of creating a lasting distinction between the selected text and the main content. For example, through creating a yellow background or underlining the text.
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== Dependent Variables ==
  
== Research Question ==
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'''Learning Outcomes'''
  
Does note-taking promote learning due to the creation of an always available copy-of the learning material?
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[[Note:]] all tests include both multiple choice and free response questions. The multiple choice questions all involve solving problems (for example, given a response structure, which variables are direct causes of an effect, or which interact to produce an effect). In addition, some free response questions ask students to explain terminology used in the module.
  
== Background/Significance ==
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''[[Normal post-test]]:'' Students are given a test immediately after studying the material.
  
Note-taking research has shown that the process of taking notes can have a positive impact on long-term retention. Our preliminary studies have provided strong evidence that the features included in online note-taking applications impact how students take notes. We have also found that these differences can affect learning in several ways. These differences provide an opportunity to learn more about note-taking. Our main research question regards how and when note-taking increases long-term retention. By addressing this question, we have the opportunity to develop note-taking applications that encourage active processing and retention.  
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''[[Long-term retention]]:'' Students return a week following the treatment (which lasts between 30 and 90 minutes) to take this test.
  
There is extensive research on note-taking in both the educational psychology and educational technology fields. About half of note-taking studies have shown the process of note-taking to be beneficial to learning. Three-fourths of studies find that notes are a valuable resource when they can be reviewed (Kiewra, 1991). The cause of note-taking benefits is unclear, however. It has been attributed to rewording or summarizing, but experimental results are equivocal.
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''[[Long-term retention]] after review:'' After taking the long-term retention test, students are given their notes to review for 5 minutes. Following this review period, students take a final test.
  
Note-taking technology provides new ways of studying note-taking, and provides investigators with more control over the note-taking process. This gives us the opportunity to study note-taking in further depth, perhaps elucidating the circumstances in which note-taking is beneficial. Unfortunately, few researchers have taken advantage of this opportunity. Most note-taking technology is developed to simply mimic paper-based practices, or provide new ways of taking notes.
 
  
These new devices have been shown to change the way students take notes, reinforcing the need to study how note-taking practices affect learning, if at all. Our investigations our a first step in doing so.
 
 
== Dependent Variables ==
 
  
 
'''Behavior'''
 
'''Behavior'''
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''Experience:'' After taking the final test, students are given a survey which solicits their reaction to the tool they used. They are asked to identify their most and least favorite features of the tools, and how they believe the tool affected their note-taking behavior.
 
''Experience:'' After taking the final test, students are given a survey which solicits their reaction to the tool they used. They are asked to identify their most and least favorite features of the tools, and how they believe the tool affected their note-taking behavior.
 
'''Tests'''
 
 
[[Note:]] all tests include both multiple choice and free response questions. The multiple choice questions all involve solving problems (for example, given a response structure, which variables are direct causes of an effect, or which interact to produce an effect). In addition, some free response questions ask students to explain terminology used in the module.
 
 
''Normal Learning, immediate:'' Students are given a test immediately after studying the material.
 
 
''Long-Term Retention, Normal Learning:'' Students return a week following the treatment (which lasts between 30 and 90 minutes) to take this test.
 
 
''Normal Learning, review:'' After taking the long-term retention test, students are given their notes to review for 5 minutes. Following this review period, students take a final test.
 
  
 
== Independent Variables ==
 
== Independent Variables ==
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''Highlighting:'' Students can create notes by actively highlighting course material. These highlights are seen with differently colored backgrounds, as would be the case with a physical highlighter.  
 
''Highlighting:'' Students can create notes by actively highlighting course material. These highlights are seen with differently colored backgrounds, as would be the case with a physical highlighter.  
 +
 +
''Highlighting with Notepad:'' Students highlight notes as above. In this condition, every highlight immediately appears in a notepad below the learning content. This has a similar appearance to the Paste condition, but students cannot edit or organize their notes.
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''No Notes:'' Control condition in which students read through the learning material without taking notes of any form.
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'''Student Variables'''
 
'''Student Variables'''
 
''SAT Score:'' All students are asked to provide their SAT scores, as in previous studies SAT-Math was found to be an important covariate.
 
  
 
''Pretest score:'' Prior to the learning material, students take a pre-test similar to the normal tests described above.
 
''Pretest score:'' Prior to the learning material, students take a pre-test similar to the normal tests described above.
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== Hypotheses ==
 
== Hypotheses ==
  
Note-taking benefits students because it allows them to simultaneously coordinate two representations of the same material, the fixed one created by the content author, and their own set of notes.  
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The [[Co-presence Of Text]] provided by the notepad plays a role in the learning gains achieved through note-taking. When the notepad is taken away, students will learn less because they will not be able to easily coordinate what they are learning with what they had previously learned. Therefore the highlighting condition will perform worse on learning outcomes than the Highlighting with Notepad and Pasting conditions.  
  
 
== Findings ==
 
== Findings ==
If coordination is an important factor in note-taking, the highlighting tool should perform worse on learning outcomes than the copy-paste tool, as it does not involve the creation of a separate set of notes.  
+
NOTE: graphics to be added
 +
* There are no differences on immediate or delayed learning tests, meaning there are no processing benefits of note-taking even over no notes.
 +
* Students using tools with a notepad (Paste and Highlighting with Notepad) perform better on the review tests.
 +
* Students taking any form of notes receive a review benefit, whereas there is not a retesting effect for no-notes.
 +
* Most students in the Paste and Highlighting with notepad conditions report referring to notes from previous pages while reading the learning materials.
 +
* Highlighting with Notepad is more efficient than other tools.
  
 
== Explanation ==
 
== Explanation ==
 +
It appears that there is no process benefit of note-taking, as no tools perform better on learning outcomes until after students are given access to their notes. While there is a benefit for review for all conditions, only the conditions with notepads perform better on the review test. However, when reviewing, highlighters generally have access to the entire document, not just the highlighted material.
  
 
== Descendents ==
 
== Descendents ==
  
None at this time
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[[Note-Taking_Technologies|Note-taking project page]]
  
 
== Further Information ==
 
== Further Information ==
 
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# Peper, R.J., Mayer, R.E., Generative Effects of Note taking During Science Lectures. Journal of Educational Psychology 78, 1 34-38
Wiley, J. (2001) Supporting understanding through task and browser design. Proceedings of the Twenty-third annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, (pp. 1136-1143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
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# Wiley, J. (2001) Supporting understanding through task and browser design. Proceedings of the Twenty-third annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, (pp. 1136-1143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Latest revision as of 10:44, 21 April 2008

Note-Taking: Coordinating content with notes

Aaron Bauer, Ken Koedinger

  • PI: Aaron Bauer
  • Key faculty: Ken Koedinger
  • Studies: 1 complete
Study Start Date March 1, 2008
Study End Date March 27, 2008
Laboratory Study
LearnLab Course Causal and Statistical Reasoning (OLI)
Number of Students 51
Total Participant Hours 120
DataShop Will attach file, May ‘08

Abstract

This project examines the part the presence of a notepad plays in the educational benefits of note-taking. Some forms of note-taking involve the creation of a document that is available while they are reading learning materials. Such is the case when students record notes on a blank piece of paper, or type or paste them into a text-editor underneath a browser. In other forms of note-taking, such as highlighting, students lose access to their notes when they change pages. By comparing interfaces that do and do not include a notepad, this project explores the hypothesis that the availability of notes allows students to coordinate what they are learning with what they are learning, strengthening the connections between knowledge components.

Glossary

  • Co-presence Of Text: The principle that having multiple related documents simultaneously available increases learning by increasing connections made between knowledge components.
  • Note-taking: The act of recording ideas from learning material, either by marking up the learning material directly or creating a separate sheet of “notes.”
  • Select/ion: This term is used in the context of this study to identify the behavior of using the mouse and cursor to actively highlight a portion of digital text. Selection is first step for several online note-taking techniques, including copy-paste and annotation.
  • Copy-Paste: This is the act of selecting material, copying it to the computer clipboard (via a keyboard shortcut or menu), and then pasting it into students’ notes.
  • Highlighting:The act of creating a lasting distinction between the selected text and the main content. For example, through creating a yellow background or underlining the text.

Research Question

Previous studies have shown that the simultaneous presence of related texts increases learning. Does the simple presence of a notepad play the same role for note-takers?

Background and Significance

There is a long history of research connecting note-taking with increased performance on learning outcomes. While some researchers believe note-taking gains are achieved when students connect learning materials with prior knowledge, there is little behavioral data to support such a thesis. Students' notes rarely show indications of material external to what they are learning. In fact, notes are often recorded verbatim. Still, there is evidence that note-takers perform better on tests addressing robust learning measures (Peper and Mayer, 1986), which should derive from such connective behavior.

Previous research has found that simultaneously coordinating multiple sources facilitates learning (Wiley 2001). Note-taking often involves the creation of a separate representation of the learning material, which remains available for review while the student is learning new material. If the availability of multiple sources is responsible for positive learning outcomes, then note-taking methods such as highlighting, which does not produce a separate copy of the learning materials, should not produce similar learning results to copy-paste. This is a Coordinative Learning hypothesis of note-taking.

For information on the note-taking project see the top-level page.

Dependent Variables

Learning Outcomes

Note: all tests include both multiple choice and free response questions. The multiple choice questions all involve solving problems (for example, given a response structure, which variables are direct causes of an effect, or which interact to produce an effect). In addition, some free response questions ask students to explain terminology used in the module.

Normal post-test: Students are given a test immediately after studying the material.

Long-term retention: Students return a week following the treatment (which lasts between 30 and 90 minutes) to take this test.

Long-term retention after review: After taking the long-term retention test, students are given their notes to review for 5 minutes. Following this review period, students take a final test.


Behavior

Note-Quantity: The total number of ideas students place in their notes is captured, as well as the number of words used to express those ideas.

Note-Wording: How students word their notes is recorded. Each ideas is either recorded Verbatim, Abbreviated, or in students Own words.

Completion Time: The time students take to complete the learning material is recorded.

Motivation/Interest

Experience: After taking the final test, students are given a survey which solicits their reaction to the tool they used. They are asked to identify their most and least favorite features of the tools, and how they believe the tool affected their note-taking behavior.

Independent Variables

Note-taking Treatment

Paste: Students can only create notes by copy-pasting material from the learning content to their notepad. Students can select as much material as they like in any single pasting action.

Highlighting: Students can create notes by actively highlighting course material. These highlights are seen with differently colored backgrounds, as would be the case with a physical highlighter.

Highlighting with Notepad: Students highlight notes as above. In this condition, every highlight immediately appears in a notepad below the learning content. This has a similar appearance to the Paste condition, but students cannot edit or organize their notes.

No Notes: Control condition in which students read through the learning material without taking notes of any form.


Student Variables

Pretest score: Prior to the learning material, students take a pre-test similar to the normal tests described above.

Preferences: In the survey, students are asked how they prefer to take notes in their regular student-life.

Hypotheses

The Co-presence Of Text provided by the notepad plays a role in the learning gains achieved through note-taking. When the notepad is taken away, students will learn less because they will not be able to easily coordinate what they are learning with what they had previously learned. Therefore the highlighting condition will perform worse on learning outcomes than the Highlighting with Notepad and Pasting conditions.

Findings

NOTE: graphics to be added

  • There are no differences on immediate or delayed learning tests, meaning there are no processing benefits of note-taking even over no notes.
  • Students using tools with a notepad (Paste and Highlighting with Notepad) perform better on the review tests.
  • Students taking any form of notes receive a review benefit, whereas there is not a retesting effect for no-notes.
  • Most students in the Paste and Highlighting with notepad conditions report referring to notes from previous pages while reading the learning materials.
  • Highlighting with Notepad is more efficient than other tools.

Explanation

It appears that there is no process benefit of note-taking, as no tools perform better on learning outcomes until after students are given access to their notes. While there is a benefit for review for all conditions, only the conditions with notepads perform better on the review test. However, when reviewing, highlighters generally have access to the entire document, not just the highlighted material.

Descendents

Note-taking project page

Further Information

  1. Peper, R.J., Mayer, R.E., Generative Effects of Note taking During Science Lectures. Journal of Educational Psychology 78, 1 34-38
  2. Wiley, J. (2001) Supporting understanding through task and browser design. Proceedings of the Twenty-third annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, (pp. 1136-1143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.