How collaboration influences the effect of note-taking on writing performance and recall of contents
Note-taking is a commonly applied pedagogical strategy across all areas of education. In higher education specifically, there has been an increasing push to get students involved in collaborative note-taking in order to increase their engagement with the contents and to inspire deeper and more meaningful learning. However, there is a lack of clarity as to whether collaborative note-taking positively influences student performance. For this reason, the present study (n = 189) compares the learning performances of students in a collaborative note-taking condition to those of students in an individual note-taking condition. The students were compared in regards to their retention of information and their performance on academic writing. The study found that students from the collaborative note-taking group performed better on measures of retention, while the individual notetaking group performed better on measures of academic writing. These results suggest that while the collaborative processes of group notetaking lead students to retain more information, these processes do not lead to better performance in academic writing. The present study fills a gap in the research by showing how the effectiveness of collaborative note-taking might depend on the learning context or on the desired result of the class.