The effects of interactive notebooks on student content knowledge and achievement in the middle school science classroom

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


This study was aimed at determining what effect, if any, the use of interactive notebooks (INBs) in the science classroom had on student content knowledge and achievement. The general purpose of the study was to make notetaking a more engaging, meaningful, and productive means of learning for middle school students with a variety of learning styles. Seventh and eighth grade students were given a notetaking survey at the start of the year to assess their abilities with, attitudes towards, and confidence in notetaking. This survey was given again at the end of the study. Students were also given a questionnaire to determine whether they were primarily a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. Each grade level received one treatment and one non-treatment unit. The non-treatment units involved students' own personal independent notetaking strategies using standard techniques such as vocabulary, definitions, main ideas, etc. The treatment unit involved the use of the Interactive Notebook (involving input pages consisting of teacher-provided materials and output pages consisting of student interaction with the teacher provided materials). Students were given a pre-assessment at the start of each unit and the same assessment was given at the conclusion of each unit to determine the effect each notetaking technique on student achievement. At the conclusion of each unit, students also self-assessed their science notebooks and scored their notes in several categories. In addition, student notebooks were assessed by the teacher at the conclusion of the units as well. Results of the study indicated that seventh grade students achieved more with interactive notebooks, whereas eighth graders showed little to no change in achievement. Neither grade level was more engaged with interactive notebooks as compared to standard notetaking techniques. Interactive notebooks benefited visual learners more than auditory or kinesthetic learners. Finally, students remain unsure of the usefulness of notes outside of class (both interactive and standard notebooks).




Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.