Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Ronald F. Rogers


generative, lecture, notetaking

Subject Areas



While the review (memory storage) function of student lecture notes is well established, research findings on the learning benefits of actually taking these notes (memory encoding) has been mixed. The current study provided all students with a complete content outline for use in studying, so the effects of taking personal notes could be isolated. Students who received the complete outline before the lecture took significantly fewer personal notes than did students who received the outline after lecture, though both groups performed similarly on factual and application tests. Students who were directed to generate novel examples for each topic also performed better on the application test than did students who were told to reread or summarize. These findings provide mixed support for the generative theory of learning, in which activities directed at helping the learner make internal and external connections with content facilitate learning.