Handwritten Assignments – The Research Says YES!

Dear Commons Community,

On a faculty LISTSERV at Hunter College, there is a discussion started by Professor Jason Young on research suggesting that handwritten assignments lead to better retention and learning than typed or keyed-in work.   The research comments that “sensorimotor feedback associated with handwriting provides stronger emphasis of information being processed, suggesting that when we handwrite something, instead of typing or just reading it, we engage more of our processing (and effort) leading to better retention and learning of information”.

It concludes that “while we are all getting used to typing on computers, studying by handwriting our notes and especially our summary of ideas used to prepare for exams, may be a more effective way of remembering information.   This is part of research in the emerging field of what is called “embodied cognition,”  suggesting that what our bodies are physically doing can systematically affect how we think”.

Several other faculty at Hunter concurred anecdotally with Professor Young’s posting.


One comment

  1. What information do you have to back this claim up? What kind of research was conducted? How many people participated in this research? If all you had was anecdotes then many would have a hard time believing you. I would like to agree, being a student I perfer to do all my assignments by hand before typing it up. However, despite my own preferences, I cannot completely agree with this aritcle as too little information is given on the subject. I ask that you at least suppy your future readers with a link to a site with all the information of the research conducted, not just a sloppy overview.