The effects of note taking strategies on retention of science content on high school students
Ferrigan, Timothy Charles
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Throughout my own educational career, both high school and college, note-taking has always been an important part. As a teacher in the classroom of today, I still try to instill that practice in my students. I know the powers that be would like the standard lecture and note taking go by the wayside. I believe it can still be part of the educational process and the art of note taking can be beneficial to students in their future educational or career endeavors. Over the past fifteen years as a teacher, I have seen students struggle with note taking. The standard practice for lecture and note taking is to display a PowerPoint presentation and while the teacher talks and clicks through the presentation, the student scramble to write things down. Is there a strategy that would be beneficial to the students and help with retention of the lecture material? This is what lead me to my classroom research project. The main research question for the project asks if certain note taking strategies influence retention of science concepts in high school students. The project consisted of three note taking strategies: student-generated, partial (fill in the blanks), and guided. The data collection consisted of pre- and post-assessments, a summative assessment, and a teacher journal. Based on the data obtained, there was about a four percent increase in retention when guided notes were used by student compared to the student-generated notes. A larger discrepancy exists between the partial note strategy and the other two strategies. I believe the data shows no particular note taking strategy outweighs another.