Lecture note-taking influences the academic success of all high school and college students (Stahl, King, & Henk, 1991). As Spires and Stone (1989) point out, students will "increasingly have to depend on their ability to take notes in order to be successful in the classroom."
Ornstein (1994) believes that all students would benefit if teachers deliberately trained their students in note-taking techniques, especially the lower-achieving students. Bakunas and Holley (2001) suggest that note-taking skills should be taught to students in the same manner that they are taught writing or computer skills. Read More >>
Helping people with disabilities
The importance of note-taking for students with disabilities cannot be underestimated.
As evidenced by various research studies, students with disabilities are not effective note takers because they do not possess the sufficient writing speed to take down spoken information and, even when they do take notes, are frequently unable to read them later because their notes are illegible. Students with disabilities either avoid taking notes, or rely on note takers or teachers to assist them.
Using Abbreviations for Note-Taking
Lecture learning is prominent in college classrooms. Armbruster (2000) reported that college students usually spend about 80% of class time listening to lectures. If lecturing is the instructor's sacred cow, then lecture note-taking is the students' "pet calf" (Titsworth & Kiewra, 2001). The problem is that students typically record incomplete notes--usually 20-40% of the important lecture ideas (O'Donnell & Dansereau, 1993). In addition, approximately 80% of what is not noted is forgotten after two weeks and it is of vital importance that note-taking skills are taught (Boon 1989). Ladas (1980) found that a significant gap between lecture speed delivery and writing speed makes a negative impact on number of units of information recorded, attention and concentration span, and comprehension of the class material.
Fisher and Harris (1994) found that students perform note-taking more efficiently when they are allowed "to encode information" using abbreviations. McKeachie (1994) suggests that abbreviating of spoken information leads to an increase to the number of words in working memory and improvement of subject retention. Boyle (2001) concluded that use of abbreviations decreases hands and eyes engagement and enable to record spoken information more efficiently.
Moreover, abbreviating the spoken word increases the attention and concentration span, and provides more time for students to comprehend class material. They can process spoken information into written form faster and it enhances retention of the information and can lead to improvement in overall organization of their notes. In addition, a higher writing speed allows more time to pay attention to handwriting legibility and style to make notes legible and readable. Importance of note-taking for students with disabilities.
Better Note-taking with EasyScript
EasyScript takes a unique approach in abbreviating words by assigning them to five categories and creating one basic rule for each category. As a result, abbreviating words of any given vocabulary can be reduced to five rules equal to the number of categories and the learning curve is significantly reduced. This represents a considerable advantage over any system which assigns a unique abbreviation for each word because larger vocabularies will require adding more rules and abbreviations. Since all existing systems have a limited number of abbreviating rules they cover only a limited number of words forcing creation the user-made abbreviations. The number of EasyScript categories remains unchanged regardless of the size of the vocabulary and this provision enables users to abbreviate any word of English vocabulary and will eliminate "user made" abbreviations.
EasyScript Abbreviating Rules
The rules are based on English grammar so it works on knowledge you already possess. Words are assigned to five categories such as simple, prefix, suffix, prefix/suffix and compound. As a result, five basic rules are needed to abbreviate any word of a full English vocabulary.
EasyScript is fast and easy to learn because:
- You only need to memorize one rule and a list of suffixes for the entire suffix category as opposed to memorizing unique abbreviations for individual words
- Learning five abbreviating strategies is significantly less than memorizing individual abbreviations for a full English vocabulary
- EasyScript rules can also be used to translate an abbreviation to a readable form. This reduces the transcription time as there is no requirement to reconstruct the word from randomly created abbreviations. In addition, the EasyScript method allows you to customize abbreviations by selecting abbreviating symbols suitable to your own individual style.
A brief example of EasyScript is illustrated below:
Longhand Text - We submit a list of services available for your special filing. (53 characters)
EasyScript Text - W smit a lst o sers avab fr y spel filg. (30 characters - reduction in writing by 43.4%)
EasyScript has been taught to a wide range of learners in many settings including: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bridgewater State College, Newton Public Schools, Massasoit Community College, Quincy College, Walpole High School, Assabet Valley Vocational School, U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), Affinity Health Plan, CNN/Turner Broadcasting, John Hancock Insurance Co., Bell Atlantic, Fleet Bank, Texaco, Inc., Brigham and Women's Hospital, U.S. Postal Service, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and others.
It only takes half a day!
Seminar feedback from 1990 shows that 90% of participants consistently found the EasyScript method by a wide margin easier to learn and use than any existing system.
- No need to spend months learning traditional shorthand and speedwriting.
- No extensive rote memorization is required.
- EasyScript method is easy to learn and use.
- 90% user satisfaction since 1990.
- User-friendly rules to tailor to your style and application.
- ComputerScript software transcribes abbreviations into readable text.
- EasyScript Express is a top-selling book in the US and abroad.
- EasyScript and ComputerScript use identical rules.
- Recommended by Fortune 500 companies, schools and government agencies.
"Bridgewater State College has been offering the EasyScript since the fall of 1990. We found that people of almost all walks of life were among of participants.
In the beginning, we were a bit skeptical that in such a short period of time a speedwriting method could be learned. From the course evaluations and comments from the participants including our faculty staff, the course does achieve the stated objectives. Participants were able to learn a complete speedwriting method and attain a writing speed up to 40 wpm.
Also, participants who had learned Gregg Shorthand or conventional speedwriting prior to taking the EasyScript course commented that by a wide margin the EasyScript method was much easier to learn, retain and apply. In addition, a number of participants have recommended EasyScript program to their employers and they in turn have conducted the EasyScript program for employee training.
We recommend the EasyScript program without reservation and will continue to offer it in our curriculum." - Bridgewater State College, Mary Delgado
For more information about EasyScript and ComputerScript, please click here.