2 - The Effects of Strategic Notetaking

2 - The Effects of Strategic Notetaking - Learning...

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Learning Disabilities Research Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16 (3), 133–141 Copyright C 2001, The Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children The Effects of Strategic Notetaking on the Recall and Comprehension of Lecture Information for High School Students with Learning Disabilities Joseph R. Boyle Virginia Commonwealth University Mary Weishaar Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville This investigation examined the effects of strategic notetaking on the recall and comprehension of high school students with learning disabilities (LD) or educable mental retardation (EMR). Twenty-six students with high incidence disabilities (LD or EMR) were randomly assigned by grade and disability to either an experimental or control group. Using strategic notetaking, students in the experimental group were taught to independently take notes while viewing a videotaped lecture. Students who were taught strategic notetaking scored significantly higher on measures of immediate free recall, long-term free recall, comprehension, and number of notes recorded than students in the control group who used conventional notetaking. The limitations of the research and implications of this technique for classroom application are discussed. Notetaking during lectures serves two fundamental purposes: it aids student understanding of lecture points and it serves to preserve lecture information, in the form of notes, for later study. Researchers (Aiken, Thomas, & Shennum, 1975; Bretzing & Kulhavy, 1979; DiVesta & Gray, 1972; Kiewra, 1984) have long demonstrated that student notetaking during lectures is advantageous for increasing comprehension and improving later recall of information. For example, students who took notes increased their attention to lecture material (Kiewra, 1987), were actively engaged in lectures (DiVesta & Gray, 1972), paraphrased and elaborated on lecture infor- mation (Suritsky & Hughes, 1996), sought to clarify their un- derstanding of confusing points (Ruhl & Suritsky, 1995), and increased their test performance of lecture material (Peper & Mayer, 1986). Taking notes not only allows students to become actively involved in lectures; notes also serve as a written document that aids students during review and preparation for tests (Henk & Stahl, 1985). This aspect is particularly important for secondary students with LD because research by Putnam and others (Putnam, Deshler, & Schumaker, 1993) has shown that in secondary content classes almost half of a student’s grade was derived from test scores. Moreover, according to these researchers, teachers reported that “their lectures were the major source of information on which test questions were based” (p. 340). Because lectures are the primary mode of Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph R. Boyle, Virginia Com- monwealth University, Division of Teacher Education, 1015 West Main Street, P.O. Box 842020, Richmond, VA 23284-2020.
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