You’ve either done it, or you’ve seen it; you or someone in the row ahead of you browsing Facebook, online shopping, emailing, iMessaging, or looking at YouTube videos while the professor is lecturing.
Unfortunately for the students that actually use their laptops to take notes, those who abuse this privilege could be spoiling it for everyone else. In fact, some professors are choosing to ban laptops in class altogether.
Many may claim that digital notetaking helps them keep up with lecture notes while the professor is moving rapidly through powerpoint slides, but a March 2013 study from York University confirmed, students who are multitasking during class have less understanding and recall of what’s being discussed.
The study also found that “participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared with those who were not.” Unsurprisingly, since this would directly take the students attention away from the material.
Even when multitasking is blocked, students who take notes on a computer tend to perform worse than students who take notes by hand, according to a 2014 study by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer.
This is because when you write something with your hand, it forces you to put your own thought into the content instead of just transcribing the lecture word for word.
This poses a problem for students, but what about professors?
Discussion is a key component to many classes, and when a student asks the professor to repeat a topic that was already discussed, it slows everyone down.
It’s harder to cover the material planned and impairs the learning experience of students who aren’t absorbed in playing Candy Crush Of course the decision is yours alone, but it seems that bringing a laptop to class isn’t a good option if you want to do well and absorb the information you came to study.