Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Tim Curran

Second Advisor

Alice Healy

Third Advisor

Lakshmi Lalchandani

Fourth Advisor

Eliana Colunga

Fifth Advisor

Nabilah Carlon


As the educational system attempts to incorporate technology into the daily regimen, controversy over technology’s impact has escalated amongst students and teachers. This study researched the impact of longhand versus typed note-taking medium on test performance. Past research has discovered that longhand note taking of a video lecture outperforms typing notes for conceptual test questions (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014). In Experiment 1, the purpose was to examine how longhand note taking compares to typing notes from a textbook passage, and also the effects of taking notes versus only receiving notes to review. The participants read a textbook passage and either took longhand, laptop, or no notes of the passage. Before taking the posttest, participants reviewed notes they created, or received from past participants. A surprising result occurred in which all subjects had similar factual and conceptual test performance, regardless of the note-taking medium. Experiment 2 was later created to examine if taking or receiving notes had any effect on test improvement, by having a no-note control group only read the passage. Even though this group did not create or receive notes, there was no difference in test scores compared to subjects who created notes, implying that test improvement was mainly due to reading the passage. However, subjects who received typed notes had a higher factual test performance than the control group, which signifies the value of receiving verbatim notes for learning factual information.