Effect of an Active Note Restructuring Intervention on Developmental Mathematics Students’ Test Performance
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The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent the completion of a note taking and review intervention impacted developmental mathematics students’ performance on course assessments. Note taking is a challenging skill that requires time and effort to improve (Boch & Piolat, 2005). Many developmental mathematics students struggle to capture a complete record of course content in their class notes and then struggle to use their notes to help them prepare for exams (Cafarella, 2014). To complete the intervention, students were asked to create a resource they could use to improve their understanding of the material, their preparation for course exams, and their performance in future classes by reminding them of prerequisite content. Students were assigned to turn in the resource, which was called the journal, on the day of exams. To complete the journal, students were required to define the key terminology of the content being covered on the exam, write out general step-by-step methods for how to complete the problems, and illustrate their methodologies by completing representative problems. The goal of assigning the journal was to provide students with a list of key concepts for the class, which has been shown to improve the quality of class notes, and to improve understanding of their knowledge of class content.