Observing the note-taking behaviour in a learning environment in an arts and design context:

CSM My Digital Life Workshop

GROUP 2: Observing the note-taking behaviour in a learning environment in an arts and design context: Laura Lutz, Sharan Sethi, Alexandra Safronova, Joon Lee.

Thanks to Peter Hope who wrote up the following notes from the group discussion:

This group observed and interviewed students across a range of postgraduate courses at CSM to investigate their methods of note-taking. The objective was not only to compile statistics regarding choice, but to gain insights as to why specific methods were selected.

It was found that across all courses pen and paper remains by far the most popular method. Reasons for this varied and included simplicity and speed, the range of form (sketch, chart, writing) and the cheap cost. It was also perceived that the act of writing enhanced the ability to recall and that the tactile pleasure of the process aided this.

Those that chose a digital form did so because of the ease with which the notes could be edited and organised. The most popular software was Evernote because of its capability in combining type, web pages and photos. Students lacking the typing speed to keep pace appreciated the ability to photograph slides in class and combine these with notes.

Conclusions

Irrespective of method, notes were rarely revisited and were seen more as part of a learning ritual and validation of this process.

The more academic a course (eg. MA Innovation Design) the higher the proportion of digital note-taking. On more ‘expressive’ courses (eg. MA Screen Acting) laptops and tablets were actively discouraged by staff and note-taking in general was less frequent.

Current technology lacks the immediacy and breadth of form that pen and paper allows which in itself offers an opportunity for development.

Audio recording is seldom used.

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  1. Pingback: The end of handwriting? | My Digital Life

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