Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Summary:
Despite the prevalence of technology on college campuses, a new study indicates that computers alone can't keep students from falling into the same old weak study habits.

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.

Meanwhile, undergraduates in the study scored 29 to 63 percentage points higher on tests when they used study techniques like recording complete notes, creating comparative charts, building associations, and crafting practice questions on their screens.

Kiewra, a professor of educational psychology, calls the method SOAR: Selecting key lesson ideas, organizing information with comparative charts and illustrations, associating ideas to create meaningful connections, and regulating learning through practice. It complements how the brain processes information, he said.

"Learning occurs best when important information is selected from less important ideas, when selected information is organized graphically, when associations are built among ideas and when understanding is regulated through self-testing," Kiewra said.

The study was built upon two experiments. In the first, undergraduates were questioned about how they study computer-based materials. In the second, they read an online text and then were asked to create on their computers some study materials that reflected their preferred (and likely weak) way to study. Or, they were prompted to use all or parts of SOAR study methods.

The latter group of studiers scored higher on tests measuring fact and relationship learning than the first group.

Kiewra authored the new study with former UNL graduate student Dharmananda Jairam, at Penn State University, and said the study shows that as undergraduates spend more and more study time on computers, it will be vital for them to learn better ways of processing and then making use of information.

Teachers and designers of instructional software may want to take note of the study's findings, as well.

"Teachers need to help students dispel crippling studying myths such as highlighting, outlining and rehearsal, and instead teach them strategies that help them succeed," Kiewra said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "College undergrads study ineffectively on computers, study finds: Students transfer bad study habits from paper to screen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810094617.htm>.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (2010, August 10). College undergrads study ineffectively on computers, study finds: Students transfer bad study habits from paper to screen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810094617.htm
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "College undergrads study ineffectively on computers, study finds: Students transfer bad study habits from paper to screen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810094617.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins