July 1, 2015 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Tip: What is the Root Cause of Memory Failure While Learning?

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Ever take your laptop to training to take notes? According to psychological research, (The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard), if you want to retain what you learn during training, using a laptop to take notes is not a good idea.

The research indicates that the act of taking notes on a laptop seems to interfere with our ability to remember the information. Mueller & Oppenheimer, psychologists for the research, believe that’s because learners on laptops are mindlessly typing everything the instructor is saying.  When tested, laptop users performed similar to pen notetakers on factual questions about the notes, but significantly worse on conceptual questions.

Since we can’t take notes as fast nor capture as much information with a pen, we are required to think and actively listen for what’s most important to write down.  Thus, we store information into memory as we think about it.

One of the root causes of memory failure during learning appears to be the way we take notes.  Will this research change the way you take notes in training?  Leave your comments below.

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