The primary purpose of this investigation was to explore if gender is related to note-taking in a large undergraduate sample (divided relatively evenly between males and females), and if it is, to examine the cognitive (handwriting speed, working memory, language comprehension) and motivation variables (conscientiousness and goal orientation) that might explain the relationship. A second purpose was to determine if there might be gender related differences in test performance (written recall). Results indicated that females recorded significantly more information in notes and written recall than males and performed significantly better on measures of handwriting speed, working memory, language comprehension, and conscientiousness. Results also indicated that notes’ quality was significantly and positively related to language comprehension, gender, and the gender × language comprehension interaction, while written recall was positively and significantly related to handwriting speed, mastery goal orientation, and the gender × conscientiousness interaction. Results imply that the female advantage typically found in language mediated tasks like reading and essay writing may extend to lecture note-taking. From a theoretical perspective, our data indicate that past research on the processes associated with note-taking, which have focused exclusively on cognitive processes, has been too narrow. Future research should attempt to replicate these findings, investigate other motivation related variables to note- and test-taking, such as openness to experience, and investigate whether females have an advantage on both functions of note-taking: encoding (taking notes), which we investigated, and review (of notes), which we did not investigate.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 25, 2015
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