Purpose: Notetaking is a critical skill for higher-level thinking and information integration in graduate students, including occupational therapy students. Though there is a growing body of literature about notetaking modalities, strategies utilized, and self-perceptions of skills in college students, studies about occupational therapy (OT) students’ notetaking preferences have been absent from the literature. This study examines how OT students take notes and their perceptions of their notes. Method: This descriptive study of students in a Master of Occupational Therapy program (n=57) completed the Notetaking Abilities and Strategies of University Students (NASUS) questionnaire which captures the constructs of notetaking methods, reasons for taking notes, students’ opinions of their notes, satisfaction with notetaking and usefulness of notes, students’ desires to change their notetaking methods, and organization and review of notes after class. Results: Study found that students utilized both handwritten and digital forms of notetaking, as expected, and took notes in class primarily as a resource to study for assessments and complete assignments as well as to remember information. Overall, students had a moderate degree of confidence and satisfaction with the usefulness of their notes and expressed a desire to improve their notetaking. Conclusions: Understanding the notetaking preferences of OT students can facilitate OT programs’ ability to support these students’ learning.

Author Bio(s)

Marie-Christine Potvin, PhD, OTR/L, is a Professor of Occupational Therapy and pediatric occupational therapist with 25 years of clinical. She is committed to supporting occupational therapy (OT) students is developing into competence entry-level practitioners. To that effect, she is engaging in a number of lines of research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning with OT students.

Monique Chabot, OTD, OTR/L, SCEM is an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy with scholarship in the areas of aging in place, design and evidence-based teaching.

Kathleen Carr, OTD is a recent occupational therapy graduate who served as research assistant on this project.


This study would not have been possible without the assistance of undergraduate and graduate research assistants: Amrital Jagra, Adeyinka Adedeji, Anna Swink, Mikaela McGraw and our colleague, Ms. Colleen Zane, MS, OTR/L. Ashutosh Pandey, PhD is also thanked for his statistical analysis support.





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