Effects of three types of lecture notes on medical student achievement

I. Jon Russell, Timothy N. Caris, Gary D. Harris, William D. Hendricson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Two parallel studies were conducted with junior medical students to determine what influence the forms of lecture notes would have on learning. The three types of notes given to the students were: a comprehensive manuscript of the lecture containing text, tables, and figures; a partial handout which included some illustrations but required substantial annotation by the students; and a skeleton outline containing no data from the lecture. The students’ knowledge about the subject was measured before the lecture, immediately after the lecture, two to four weeks later, and approximately three months later. The students’ responses to questionnaires indicated a strong preference for very detailed handouts as essential to preparation for examinations. By contrast, the students’ performances on tests generally were better for those who had received the partial or skeleton handout formats. This was particularly true for information presented during the last quarter of each lecture, when learning efficiency of the skeleton handout group increased while the other two handout groups exhibited learning fatigue. It was concluded that learning by medical students was improved when they recorded notes in class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-636
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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