ERIC Number: ED327579
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Notetaking, Verbal Aptitude, & Listening Span: Factors Involved in Learning from Lectures.
Walbaum, Sharlene D.
Three variables (verbal aptitude, listening ability, and notetaking) that may mediate how much college students learn from a lecture were studied. Verbal aptitude was operationalized as a Verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test (VSAT) score. Listening ability was measured as the score on an auditory short-term memory task, using the serial running memory span task. Notetaking was judged by the length of notes students took during a lecture. Initial subjects were 498 students from the psychology department's subject pool at the University of California (Davis). The span task identified subjects with extremely good or very poor recall, resulting in samples of 51 students with low recall and 53 students with high recall. Learning was assessed using multiple-choice and short-answer examinations. The results provide support for the "encoding" function of notetaking, but only for some individuals. When few notes were taken, the short-answer performance of the high VSAT subjects was very similar to that of other subjects. With brief note lengths, the multiple-choice scores of the middle VSAT subjects were indistinguishable from those of the high VSAT subjects. With longer notes, the performance of these two groups in these test contexts was enhanced. High VSAT subjects performed better on short-answer items if they took medium length notes. Middle VSAT subjects benefited from longer notes when tested via a multiple-choice format, and middle VSAT subjects performed better on short-answer items if they took medium-length, as opposed to brief, notes. In contrast, the low VSAT subjects' scores were uniformly low, regardless of the amount of notes taken. These findings support an individualized approach to understanding notetaking functions. Two tables and three graphs provide study data. A 36-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Scholastic Aptitude Test
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).