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An Exploration of Note-taking in an Online Calculus Course

, , , Arizona State University, United States

JCMST Volume 36, Number 1, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Taking notes is a popular activity for students attending instructional lectures and has been linked to achievement. Research on note-taking has shown that the contents and usefulness of student notes depends on several factors, including the pace of the lecture and the presence of organizational and selection cues. However, this research has focused on note-taking from live lectures, often in a laboratory setting. The study presented here explored note-taking from video lectures by students who were genuinely invested in doing well in an online course. Of particular interest were participation patterns, whether the placement and completeness of content within a video was correlated with its inclusion in student notes, and whether the regularity and quality of note-taking was correlated with exam performance in a problem-solving course. Results showed that student participation was consistent over time, that leading worked examples within a video were salient, but that example completeness was not a factor in inclusion, and that note-taking participation and quality was not positively correlated with exam performance. This observational study sets the stage for future experimental research to adapt what we know about traditional note-taking and its relationship to achievement to online educational environments.


van de Sande, C., Abramson, J. & Judson-Garcia, J. (2017). An Exploration of Note-taking in an Online Calculus Course. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 36(1), 75-99. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved October 19, 2017 from .