MFA Thesis | Kent State University

Note-taking & Information Retention/Recall

Information retention is paramount to the education process. There isn’t a single act in academia that doesn’t require extensive information recall. Beginning with the middle school grades, teachers increasingly rely on the lecture method of instruction. Incidentally, the middle grades are a critical period in the instruction of study skills as the students in that age range are developmentally ready to become strategic learners.

Notable is a versatile tool that functions in varied note-taking environments. Considerations for different learning styles and activities that aid in information retention and recall are uniquely utilized throughout the application. This thesis offers a framework for the development of Notable.

Ethnographic research was conducted on middle school students to gain insight on their learning environments; including the classroom, lecture styles, note-taking tools, organizational methods and social interactions amongst teachers, and classmates.

Quantitative research was conducted in the form of a survey. Over 70 participants submitted answers to questions revolving around achievement levels, learning styles, tools, and study habits. Data synthesized from surveys informed the construction of user personas and usage scenarios to help focus an iterative design approach toward the development of a comprehensive note-taking application.

Continued Research Interests

  • Designing with considerations to the function of the brain
  • Limiting subjectivity in the design process
  • User-centered design
  • Interface design and the future of touch, wearable, and augmented reality interfaces
  • Instructional technology