Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Biological Sciences

Document Type



This study investigated the effect of traditional and electronic note taking on student achievement and engagement in a Louisiana high school biology classroom. Over a 20-week period, traditional students (n= 58) took notes using pencil and paper and electronic note takers (n=46) used their laptop computers. Each group of students was given identical pre and posttests covering three units and a practice End of Course exam. Normalized learning gains were compared for each unit and suggest there is no significant difference in academic achievement between the traditional note takers and the electronic note takers. An attitudinal survey was also administered and indicated that both electronic and traditional note takers preferred taking notes traditionally. Observations conducted by the teacher indicated a low occurrence of off task behavior; there were no significant differences between note taking groups. Results that were self-reported by the students show greater off task occurrences, especially within the electronic group. Teachers should carefully consider integrating technology into the note taking process. Since electronic note taking affects student engagement, but does not impact student achievement, allowing students the freedom to choose whichever method they prefer may positively impact classroom culture.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wischusen, E William