Thursday, August 12, 2010

College undergrads study ineffectively on computers, study finds: Students transfer bad study habits from paper to screen

College undergrads study ineffectively on computers, study finds: Students transfer bad study habits from paper to screen
College Undergrads Study Ineffectively on Computers, Study Finds: Students Transfer Bad Study Habits from Paper to Screen

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2010) — In the space of one generation, college students have gone from studying with highlighters and wire notebooks to laptops, netbooks and, now, iPads.

But despite the prevalence of technology on campuses, a new study indicates that computers alone can't keep students from falling into their same weak study habits from their ink-and-paper days.

"Our study showed that achievement really takes off when students are prompted to use more powerful strategies when studying computer materials," said the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Ken Kiewra, an expert in study methods and one of the authors of the study.

The research, published in The Journal of Educational Psychology, found that students tend to study on computers as they would with traditional texts: They mindlessly over-copy long passages verbatim, take incomplete or linear notes, build lengthy outlines that make it difficult to connect related information, and rely on memory drills like re-reading text or recopying notes.