The effects of instruction in notetaking, the recording of notes, and sex of the notetaker on the retention of aurally presented information were examined. Subjects were 43 male and 61 female sixth grade students, randomly assigned to four experimental conditions: Instructed note- takers, uninstructed notetakers, instructed non-notetakers, and uninstructed non-notetakers. Notetaking instruction consisted of a videotaped presentation designed to train students in paying attention, selecting main ideas, maintaining pace with the rate of instruction, and personalizing presented information. All students then heard a brief prose passage, while either taking or not taking notes in accordance with their experimental group assignments. Notes were collected from notetaking groups, and were not returned for review. Assessments of recall of key information were conducted immediately, 5 days, and 30 days after the presentation of the instructional passage. Significant interactions were found between instruction in notetaking and the recording of notes, sex of student and notetaking, and notetaking and time. The findings indicated that the effects of notetaking may be conditional, depending on factors such as intelligence and verbal ability, and that additional efforts toward identifying such conditions are warranted.
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