*WINNER* Where Did the Notes Go? Understanding the Learning That Motivates the Documentation Cycle as an Effective Practice for Knowledge Acquisition

  • Katherine Finks


STEM disciplines and higher education are moving towards active learning strategies that require students to engage in knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer (Arce et al., 2015). Traditional learning environments encourage note taking to document conceptual understanding; however such supporting tools to solidify knowledge acquisition in active based learning are less integrated into higher education (Rawlings, Allen, & Arce, 2005). The purpose of this study is to explore the existing literature to learn about effective notetaking strategies for active learning environments in STEM. The criteria for this literature review include articles that: were published within the last five years, reflect post-secondary context, are peer-reviewed articles, are housed within STEM, education, or psychology, that were deemed accurate, credible, or reliable. Multiple comprehensive searches were conducted using verified databases that contained a combination of the following search terms: student centered, active learning, documentation cycle, note taking, STEM, post-secondary, connections, cognitive growth, and constructivism. After reviewing the results of the searches, twenty-three articles were selected and relevant information analyzed for this study. The analysis of the papers selected resulted in the following categories: 1) notetaking: traditional, virtual, collaborative, and active learning; 2) active learning environments: active description of student teacher roles; 3) learning in active learning environments: knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer. This literature review identifies potential gaps in the strategies and utilization in notetaking for active learning environments in post-secondary environments. Possible strategies for addressing this gap will be suggested as part of this contribution of this research.