Hand-Written Or Typed College Notes – Which Is Better?

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College lectures and online courses require a lot of dedication when writing down notes and prepping for assignments. A lot of students these days rely on laptops to type notes and work on assignments. Older students often prefer to make handwritten notes. Is one approach better than the other?

Why Do So Many Students Type Class Notes?

The simple answer here is convenience. We’ve become so used to having our laptops at home and using computerized devices that handwriting notes feel foreign. This can depend on your generation, of course. Older students going back to college or online courses may feel that handwriting is more natural. We’re talking about the Gen-Z group that never had laptops in class when they were teenagers and the millennials that love the smell of a fresh notebook and some cute stationery. Gen-Z is more used to having devices at school and taking that forward into college studies. It’s second nature to take out a laptop covered in stickers and type out as much of what the lecturer says as possible.

There is also the fact that these notes are so much more accessible and easy to read. Assuming you can save everything successfully with no corrupted files, your work will be precisely where you left it. You can then continue to work on it and flesh out the notes into assignment answers. You can also read every word in that clean typeface. Handwritten notes are a different story. They can get lost or damaged during the day – especially if you loan them to other students.

The old cliche of the dog eating your homework no longer applies to typed assignments. There is also the issue of legibility. Cursive writing isn’t an issue for older students. Other people might not be able to read it, but we can. Younger students struggle with this and general penmanship, making them slower when writing notes and less able to read them the next day.

Are Hand-written Notes Better?

While there are clearly plenty of benefits in using these laptops in class, it isn’t always the best option. Studies suggest that a reliance on laptops in lectures means students aren’t retaining information in the same way. As a result, they aren’t connecting with the subject and can’t recall vital information as successfully. This could be a problem when a teacher calls on you to review an important point from the day before without reading it from a screen.

Clearly, there are pros and cons to both approaches, and there isn’t a straightforward answer. There may be times when a laptop makes the most sense because there is such a vast stream of information to take down. Hand-written notes could slow you down too much. If that’s the case, it might be worthwhile turning the typed notes into a hand-written document to help everything sink in. Yet, if you can find a way to write effective hand-written notes in class and flesh them out with further study after class, that might pay off in the long run. You need to find what works for you.

What About For Online Colleges?

This is where having a laptop makes more sense than a notebook. When you work from online course content, you obviously need some form of computer to access the material. Making notes with a laptop is easy because you can take what you see on one side of the screen and rewrite it in your own words on the other. It is a quick and easy way to work through the material. Once you have the notes written down, you can spend the time reviewing them and creating pieces for your assignments.

However, the same rules apply here when it comes to retaining that information. There is a good chance that by simply copying the material from one page to another, you don’t give it time to sink in. It can become robotic and lack the same personal touch as hand-written notes. As a result, you may find yourself struggling to recall details when discussing the material with other people. That is why it helps to still use both a laptop and a notebook when working on an online course. Get a nice new pad and pen that you will enjoy using and physically write down your notes from the screen.

One difference here compared to those in-person lectures is you can take your time to write it all out neatly, underline important points, and maybe color-code sections for different assignment questions. It all depends on your learning style. Once you have this physical copy and those powerful neural pathways for the information, you can use it to write your assignments on the laptop. You can go over everything with ease, correct mistakes add details through independent learning, and format everything properly. It is then ready to submit to your tutor for grading.

Finding The Best Laptops For Online Learning

No matter which way you prefer to take notes for your online course, you will need a quality laptop. Luckily there are resources to help, and you can click here to learn more. You could read the content on a mobile device on a work break or a commute, but you still need a reliable computer to write and submit the assignments. Working on a family PC isn’t always ideal. Other family members may need it at a crucial time, and it might not have the specifications and programs you want. A personal laptop is the best solution, but it can be expensive.

So, what’s the solution? If you aren’t keen on getting a brand-new laptop with your savings or credit card, there are other options. One is to look into a scheme that leases tech on an affordable payment plan, rather than expecting an upfront cost. That can soften the blow. Another option is to look for older refurbished models. These are often significantly cheaper and can be of higher quality than you expect. Then there are the online colleges that lease out laptops to students. There are caveats with these schemes. They can’t go around giving every single person an expensive device, and the programs are means-tested. Still, it is worth checking the criteria to see if you are eligible.

So, if you require a laptop for studying – whether you want to type out all your notes or still work by hand sometimes – check out those resources. You can get something affordable that helps make online studying a lot easier.

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