Learning how to study by yourself is an essential skill for independent learners.
The quality of studying depends on the quality of your notes, and one way to improve both is to go analog instead of digital: In other words, taking notes by hand instead of by computer.
Computers are highly effective learning tools. They are great for research, communication, and collaboration. But students who use them tend to transcribe lectures rather than process the information through note-taking.
Research has found that digital note-takers capture a lot of facts, which is great for rote memorization. On the other hand, students who write their notes out by hand learn how to listen to the information (a critical skill in and of itself), and absorb, digest, and interpret it.
“So, what does old-school note-taking get right that its digital counterpart lacks?” The research concludes, “It is quite simple: quality over quantity.”
Taking notes by hand has other benefits. Students can use charts, tables, mind maps, and other visualizations to organize information. That supports conceptual understanding and connections, which in turn develops critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.