PSYC1090 Research Project 2 Guide

PSYC1090 Research Project 2 Guide



Research Project 2 Guide: Notetaking Annotations and Information Recall



The aim of Research Project 2 is to provide further experience with the research process. It provides opportunities to engage with, analyse and write up a correlational researchstudy. Like Research Project 1, this assessment takes the form of a research report.

This guide describes a (simulated) research study. It also includes the materials and dataset from this study. This assessment requires you to write up this study in the form of a research report (note that you are NOT required to conduct this study or collect data). Your report should:

1. Be formatted according to the Reporting Style Guidelines for Practical Reports and Projects
2. Include references formatted according to APA 7th (e.g., see Cite Them Right)
3. Be no longer than 2,000 words (excluding references andappendices)
4. Be uploaded to Turnitin no later than 12 noon on 20February 2022




An area that is always of interest to instructors is notetaking and how notetaking can play a role in predicting information encoding. Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) compared students’ performance on conceptual questions when using laptops and when taking notes by hand. They found that students using laptops performed worse than those handwriting notes. Other studies, such as Witherby and Tauber (2019) have examined students’ rationale behind notetaking.

The current study focused on the number of handwritten annotations students made when reading a printed copy of a scholarly research article to investigate the relationship between the number of annotations and performance on a multiple-choice exam.



In the current study, second year DMU Psychology students were recruited on SONA. They were asked to come into the Psychology lab in Portland to complete the study. In the lab, the researchers presented participants with an Information Page and they were asked to complete a computer-based Consent Form.

Participants then sat at a desk that had a variety of stationery (i.e., post-it notes, pens of different colours, and highlighters of different colours), as well as a printed copy ofBialystok and Luk (2012), a scholarly journal article that discusses bilingualism. Participants were instructed to read the article and take any notes they felt would be helpful. After participants completed the reading, they were brought to a computer where they took a 20 item multiple-choice questionnaire about the information in the research article.

The multiple choice questionnaire asked questions about information contained in the article. For example, one question asked about the number of participants involved in the studies, whereas others asked about the findings of the study.

Participants were then presented with a Debrief page and asked if they had any questions. Participants were awarded 1 SONA credit for their participation.

After the participants left, researchers counted the number of annotations made. For example, if a student highlighted a line and wrote a comment, that counted as 2 annotations. The total number of annotations and the number of correct questions on the multiple-choice questionnaire per participant were collected.

The current study addresses the following research question: what is the relationship between the quantity of annotations and information recalled? In other words, is there a significant correlation between annotations made and the score on their questionnaire?



Each participant was assigned an anonymous ID. In addition to recording their Age in years and Gender, the number of annotations (Annotations) and their score on the questionnaire (MCQ) were recorded. Each of these variables is included in the ResearchProject2.sav dataset.



Like Research Project 1, you are encouraged to closely consult the Reporting Style Guidelines for Practical Reports and Projects, rubric and workshop materials. You will also be required to draw on the skills that you developed during Term 1. You are also encouraged to consult your feedback fromResearch Project 1. Finally, your report should include references to Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) and Witherbyand Tauber (2019) alongside at least two additional references (i.e., and relevant discussion).



Bialystok, E., & Luk, G. (2012). Receptive vocabulary differences in monolingual and bilingual adults. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15(2), 397-401.

Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological science, 25(6), 1159-1168.

Witherby, A. E., & Tauber, S. K. (2019). The current status of students’ note-taking: Why and how do students take notes?. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 8(2), 139-153.



Appendix A: Information Page (note that these materials are for educational purposes)



Title of Project: Notetaking annotations and information recall

Name of Investigator: Dr Kaitlyn Zavaleta

Invitation paragraph: You have been invited to take part in a research study. Please contact the researcher if anything is unclear or if you would like more information.

What is the study about: This study examines community and student outcomes.

What does the study involve? You will be asked to read a short research study and complete a short multiple-choice test based on the reading.

Why have I been chosen? You have been invited to participate because you are 18 years of age or older and a DMU student.

Do I have to take part? It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part.

What if I agree to take part and then change my mind?You are free to withdraw from the study at any time without giving a reason. However, once you have completed the study, you will not be able to withdraw your data.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part? The primary disadvantage is that you will have to give up some of your time.

What are the possible benefits of taking part? The primary advantage is that you will contribute to science.

What if something goes wrong? / Who can I complain to?Please contact the Investigator or the Administrator for the Ethics Committee.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential? All information which is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept on a password protected database and is strictly confidential. You will be given an ID code which will be used instead of your name. Any identifiable information you may give will be removed and anonymised.

Who has reviewed the study? This study has been reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee.

Contact for Further Information:​Dr Kaitlyn Zavaleta

De Montfort University

Leicester LE1 9BH UK

+44 (0)116 366 4790

Appendix B: Consent Form (note that these materials are for educational purposes)




Title of Project: Notetaking annotations and information recall

Name of Investigator: Dr Kaitlyn Zavaleta


Please tick if you agree:


1. I confirm that I have read and understood the information sheet. I have had the opportunity to consider the information, ask questions and have had these answered satisfactorily. __


2. I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving any reason. __


3. I agree that the researcher can use my p-number provided to collect and use my final dissertation score. __


4. I agree to take part in this study. __


Appendix C: Debrief Page (note that these materials are for educational purposes)​




Title of Project: Notetaking annotations and information recall

Name of Investigator: Dr Kaitlyn Zavaleta


The aim of this study is to understand more about the number of annotations someone makes when reading a research article and whether it is related to how well students do on a multiple choice test.


Contact for Further Information:​Dr Kaitlyn Zavaleta

De Montfort University

Leicester LE1 9BH UK

+44 (0)116 366 4790


Thank you for your time.

Reference no: EM132069492

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