For some students the act of writing notes can help to encode classroom lessons, but for others it can present an obstacle that prevents them from learning the content in the moment.

What Types of Students Should Avoid Taking Notes?

There are those students that are auditory learners and they do best when they can listen to the content without the distraction of taking notes. If these auditory learners also have dysgraphia or dyslexia (weaknesses in fine motor dexterity, language processing, and memory), the research suggests that many of these students will find it difficult to reproduce words accurately. According to the British Dyslexia Association, taking notes is ineffective for these learners and “creates serious difficulties.”

In addition, Dr. Kirkby, with The Language and Literacy Group at Bournemouth University discovered that many have trouble finding their place on the board after they have looked down at their notebook. Furthermore, when under pressure to write quickly, students with dysgraphia and dyslexia usually have problems copying words accurately. They may mix up words in two separate sentences, misspell words, omit words or they may combine words that they see on the board with the words their teacher is speaking into nonsensical phrases. Even if they do record some legible and readable notes, they probably will require additional instruction.

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