Teaching note -taking skills to underachieving college students

Arthur Robin, Richard Foxx, John Martello, Crystal Archable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The present study attempted to develop a note-taking program that would teach college students to recognize and record the most important information from lectures. In addition, a method was developed for reliably evaluating the accuracy of students’ notes. A non-graded university course was created in which the subject matter was sexual behavior. Three groups of students, two experimental and one control group, attended the course lectures. The two experimental groups received a note-taking program, the key features of which were: Modeling, discrimination training, practice, prompting, shaping, fading, and positive feedback. The results showed that the two experimental groups increased the percent of critical lecture points in their notes from baseline to posttraining by 23 and 18 percent, whereas the control group’s percent of critical lecture points decreased by 9 percent. During a one-lecture generalization probe (a different instructor gave the lecture) the experimental groups averaged 60 and 50 percent of the critical lecture points, whereas the control group averaged 37 percent. The systematic behavioral procedure used in the present study appears to be an effective method of increasing the accuracy of students’ lecture notes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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