TRANSITIONING FROM THE PAPER TO THE TABLET: DO STUDENTS AT THE HIGHER EDUCATION LEVEL USE TABLETS FOR NOTE TAKING? ARE THEY AWARE OF THE DIFFERENT FEATURES AND POTENTIAL OF NOTE-TAKING APPLICATIONS?
1 Instituto de Carboquimica (ICB). Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Zaragoza, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department. Architecture and Engineering College (EINA), I3A (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Taking good notes during lectures is essential to academic success in higher education. Notably, the taking note process actively helps students focus, better understand complex concepts and gain substantial insights into the most critical parts of the lecture. Good note-taking enhances active listening, comprehension of material, and retention, which helps students remember what they have listened to and watched. These notes are crucial for reviewing and studying class material to prepare for end-of-term examinations appropriately. Taking efficient and concise notes save students time, decreases efforts and prevents confusion and disorganisation, avoiding wordy notes.
Traditionally, the note-taking process has been conducted using a pen and paper. However, the Internet and personal hardware such as smartphones and tablets, combined with the extensive use of social media among young people, have changed how the new generation of students communicates and relates. Besides, with the rapid growth of mobile technologies and the extensive use of mobile devices, mobile learning has continuously increased in higher education. As a result, students at the higher education level have started using mobile devices, primarily tablets, to take notes. This is accounted for by the substantial improvement in the capabilities of these devices, the availability of writing accessories, such as digital styluses, and the development of dedicated applications for digital note-taking. Some of these applications are ClickUp Docs, Google Keep, Bear, Workflowy, Evernote, Paper, Ulysses, SquidNotes, Microsoft OneNote, Simplenote, Dropbox Paper, GoodNotes, Obsidian, or Coda. One of the benefits of note-taking applications relies on their low price, with the vast majority being free or having quite a low subscription fee. This may offset the paper and/or notebook acquisition price for each course. Besides, it is also important to note that many students like to keep digital copies of notes and tend to scan them for their purposes or share their material with their peers. While scanning leads to poor image quality and inefficiency in studying, note-taking apps allow students to forego the middle step. However, users must have their device (tablet), which can be costly and represents an initial investment which can discourage students from transitioning to this new technology.
Despite these excellent features and the wide availability of applications in the market, the question still remains on how many students have currently moved from the paper to the tablet for taking notes during the lecture, and how many would be willing to do so if they knew all the capabilities and advantages of such applications. In this context, this research will assess the student’s adaptation to and acceptance of this technology by conducting different surveys and open-ended questions to higher education students. These will include questions to gather how many students take notes digitally, their preferred applications, and how they use these. Additionally, students will be asked about their willingness to move from the paper to the tablet if they were provided with the material (tablet, stylus and application) at no cost. These data will give a general idea about the present, short-term and future possible implementation of this technology in higher education.
Keywords: Note-taking, Note-taking applications, digital notes, Tablets.