A Study of Student Notetaking and Software Design Implications

Y.J. Reimer, E. Brimhall, and L. Sherve (USA)


Electronic notebooks, student notetaking, user studies


Students in higher education are now expected to gather and assimilate information from a wide variety of electronic sources—most prominently the World Wide Web—to accomplish many of their academic tasks. These tasks include downloading and annotating lecture notes, reviewing class Web pages, retrieving and posting assignments, conducting research, looking up articles and publications, etc. Unfortunately, these processes are currently not well supported by existing software applications. The research presented in this paper details our efforts towards developing a better theoretical understanding of the process of student notetaking and how it is changing in the digital age. We summarize other notable research in this area before reporting the results of initial user studies we have conducted with nine University students. We discuss the implications of these preliminary results on the future design of a Web-based electronic notebook that will help students with their evolving academic tasks, and then outline our plans for continued work in this promising and crucial research area.

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