The incidence of notetaking on meaningful learning. A study on higher education

Carlos Monereo, María Luisa Pérez

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    Educational Psychology students from different universities participated in this research. From a constructive learning theory framework, our aim was to study learning outcome through the use of a) specific teaching strategies by the teacher, and b) different learning strategies by students at the time of registering information. Results show that in the groups where teachers adopted selective teaching strategies that differed from those of the control group, there was either a positive change in students' response or the same level was maintained, while in the control group—where the teacher adopted magisterial teaching methods—the level of response was lower. Likewise, the response level of those groups who used the selected learning strategies for taking notes improved, but this was not the case in the control group. 1. A procedure is not in itself a strategy. It is the purpose with which it is applied which confers it the quality of being strategic. In turn, as Moreno (1988) points out, it is the task itself or the learning situation which provide a purpose by demanding an active cognitive effort. 2. The teachers who participated in this study were highly conscious of the function of the didactic procedures they adopted. This awareness however did not presumably take place among many of the students, who simply used the procedures they were taught in a mechanical way and no strategically; for example, by reproducing an exact copy of the teacher's notes through a conceptual map, rather than following the teacher's basic guideline: to establish meaningful conceptual links. 3. Based on these considerations, we think that the dilema on which would be the best way to teach how to take notes should not continue to be centred on the coding versus storage dichotomy, but to promote a strategic over non-strategic performance. 4. For the present, we feel that the best «learning procedure» will be the one that helps students understand that there does not exist a learning procedure that is «better». The best way to learn how to improve ones learning strategies is to increasingly achieve a higher awareness on ones own learning procedures. © 1996, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-86
    JournalInfancia y Aprendizaje
    Issue number73
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


    • higher education
    • instructional methods
    • Learning strategies
    • notetaking


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