Is writing more effective for retention than typing?

Writing or Typing? What is the best way for a student to remember certain content? Could there be an argument for both being equally good for students to retain content?

In this day in age, technology has been the chosen tool for students to do most of their homework, projects, quizzes, and exams. However, before technology ever existed students had to rely on books, writing by hand and creating by hand. 

Even though we are in a technological era, there are still students who prefer writing down notes by hand. Would that be enough to put writing by hand over typing to remember content? 

The reason some students are still writing is because of better grades as a result. According to the article, ‘Handwriting Vs Typing Notes – Which Is Better?’ on the Executive Pens Direct website, students who take notes by hand have higher GPA, remember more than those who type on digital devices. “Although typing (34%) proved slightly more popular than handwriting (30%), the latter group had a higher median GPA (3.2) than the overall average (2.9).”

According to the aforementioned article, “Evidence has shown that taking longhand notes allows for better short and long-term memory recall as these notes are in your own words and handwriting,” and “Technology-based note-taking allows you to type at a much faster rate than you would do simply by handwriting them, making it a much more efficient method for recording information.”

Those are the advantages of both writing and typing but what about the specific disadvantages? Also in the article, ‘Handwriting Vs Typing Notes – Which Is Better?,’ when it comes to handwriting there is a very high possibility that information will be missed because hands can not keep up with everything that is being said in real time. Typing notes also show a low retention of information according to the article. 

At the end of the day, it is up to the student how he/she wants to retain information. Teachers will prefer students to write down notes manually because they think it’s better. However, if the student has proved that he/she can retain information better typing than writing, then he/she should do what helps them succeed. 

“It depends on the student,” said Waynesburg University Instructor Douglas Wilson. “In school, I was able to write and remember but now I can type something out and be able to remember in full.”