Note-taking from text materials with middle school students: Process, product and practice
Students need to use cognitive processes to facilitate learning and improve academic performance. One of the tactics that can foster deep-level processing of information is the graphic organizer when used to take notes. But when taught graphic organizer use under experimental conditions, students do not continue use, and return to other less efficient methods. It is hypothesized that if students are more involved in the process of creating their own organizers, this might affect a more embedded and lasting change in graphic organizer use. This study examined graphic organizer use in a middle school suburban setting. Eighth grade students (N =115, 66 girls and 49 boys) were trained to take notes using three different text materials: textbook, newspaper, and on-line text with hyper links. Students, who created their own graphic organizers with scaffolding from teachers and peers, were compared to students who used commercially prepared graphic organizers. The null hypothesis was that there would be no differences between groups. Independent t tests revealed no significant differences between groups on pre-assessment scores, target questions, textbook and on-line text, and transfer tests. Significant differences were found on post assessment scores and newspaper graphic organizer scores. Significant within and between group gender differences were also found. Transfer tests showed graphic organizer use by both groups two to three weeks after the practice period ended. The discussion focuses on student participation in developing their own note-taking tactics, gender differences, implementations for teacher, and questions for further research.
Social studies education
0525: Educational psychology
0534: Social studies education