Nursing Faculty Compare Electronic to Handwritten Note-Taking Methods

Sep 21, 2018 | Eleanor Mann School of Nursing

Two University of Arkansas nursing faculty members presented research at a national conference this month that explored the use of electronic versus handwritten note-taking methods by undergraduate students, finding no evidence that one method leads to better academic performance than the other.

Tabatha Teal and Ginger Holloway, instructors of nursing in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, presented a poster at the 125th National League of Nursing conference in Chicago. The poster presentation shared research findings from a collaboration with Ann Lofton, instructor of nursing, and Jan Emory, associate professor of nursing.

Technological advances provide alternatives to taking notes by hand but reports have conflicted on the effect on academic performance.

The researchers surveyed 209 students enrolled in the nursing school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program courses in communications and statistics last year, finding that 71 percent took notes by electronic methods. They also found no significant difference in the relationship between note-taking method and grade-point average.

The project concluded that multiple variables, including lecture strategies and distractions, influence learning and that the way students take notes has little impact on their academic performance.

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