The effect of writing modality on recollection in children and adolescents
We set out to assess the extent to which writing modality affects recollection in children and adolescents. We examined 10- to 11-year-old children’s (N = 63) and 16-year-old adolescents’ (N = 43) handwriting, keyboarding with a laptop computer and keyboarding with a touchscreen tablet computer or mobile phone in a within-subjects experimental design. Participants were instructed to write down stories dictated to them in the three writing modalities. Recollection of the stories was assessed using free recall of details in the stories. The results indicate that the writing modality affects recollection, handwriting leading to better recollection. However, currently, digital writing tools are inundating classrooms and workplaces around the globe, making their competent use a necessity in today’s world. For example, in Finland, students are obligated to use a laptop in upper secondary education and in the national final examination. In light of the results, we highlight the importance of balancing the instruction and practice of different writing modalities. Given the limitations of this study, we suggest conducting a larger-scale study and further research on the educational and cognitive implications of using and learning to write using multiple writing modalities.
Accardo, A. P., Genna, M. & Borean, M. (2013) ‘Development, maturation and learning influence on handwriting kinematics’, Human Movement Science, vol. 32, pp. 136–146. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2012.10.004
Berninger, V. W., et al., (1994) ‘Developmental skills related to writing and reading acquisition in the intermediate grades’, Reading and Writing, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 161–196. doi: 10.1007/BF01026911
Berninger, V. W., et al., (2015) ‘Computer instruction in handwriting, spelling, and composing for students with specific learning disabilities in grades 4–9’, Computers & Education, vol. 81, pp. 154–168. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.005
Berninger, V. W. & Swanson, H. L. (1994) ‘Modifying Hayes and Flower’s model of skilled writing to explain beginning and developing writing’, in Children’s Writing: Toward a Process Theory of the Development of Skilled Writing, eds E. C. Butterfield & J. Carlson, JAI Press, London, pp. 57–81.
Buckley-Walker, K., et al., (2017) ‘Evaluating the validity of the online multiliteracy assessment tool’, Australian Journal of Education, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 305–327. doi: 10.1177/0004944117729056
Bui, D. C., Myerson, J. & Hale, S. (2013) ‘Note-taking with computers: exploring alternative strategies for improved recall’, Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 105, no. 2, pp. 299–309. doi: 10.1037/a0030367
Carroll, J. B. (1993) Human Cognitive Abilities: A Survey of Factor-analytical Studies, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Christensen, C. A. (2004) ‘Relationship between orthographic-motor integration and computer use for the production of creative and well-structured written text’, British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 74, pp. 551–564. doi: 10.1348/0007099042376373
Christensen, C. A. (2005) ‘The role of orthographic–motor integration in the production of creative and well-structured written text for students in secondary school’, Educational Psychology, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 441–453. doi: 10.1080/01443410500042076
Dinehart, L. (2015) ‘Handwriting in early childhood education: current research and future implications’, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 97–118. doi: 10.1177/1468798414522825
Erthal, M. (1998) ‘Who should teach keyboarding and when should it be taught?’, Business Education Forum, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 36–37.
Flower, L. & Hayes, J. (1981) ‘A cognitive process theory of writing’, College Composition and Communication, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 365–387. doi:10.2307/356600
Frangou, S-M., et al., (2018) ‘Can you put your finger on it? The effects of writing modality on Finnish students’ recollection’, Journal of Writing Systems Research, vol. 10, no. 2, 82–94. doi: 10.1080/17586801.2018.1536015
Haas, C. (1996) Writing Technology Studies on the Materiality of Literacy. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hayes, J. R. & Flower, L. S. (1980) ‘Identifying the organization of writing processes’, in Cognitive Processes in Writing: An Interdisciplinary Approach, eds L. Gregg & E. Steinberg, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 3–30.
Kallionpää, O. (2017) ‘Uuden kirjoittamisen opetus: osallistavaa luovuutta verkossa [Teaching new writing: inclusive creativity online]’, Scriptum: Creative Writing Research Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1–232.
Kim, J. H., et al., (2014) ‘Differences in typing forces, muscle activity, comfort, and typing performance among virtual, notebook, and desktop keyboards’, Applied Ergonomics, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 1406–1413. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.04.001
Klein, P. D. (1999) ‘Reopening inquiry into cognitive processes in writing-to-learn’, Educational Psychology Review, vol. 11, pp. 203–270. doi:10.1023/A:1021913217147
Kupiainen, S., Marjanen, J. & Ouakrim-Soivio, N. (2018) ‘Ylioppilas valintojen pyörteissä. Lukio-opinnot, ylioppilastutkinto ja korkeakoulujen opiskelijavalinta [Student in the whirlwind choices. High school studies, matriculation examination and college student admission]’, Suomen ainedidaktisen tutkimusseuran julkaisuja. Ainedidaktisia tutkimuksia 14, Suomen ainedidaktinen tutkimusseura, Turenki.
Logan, G. D. & Crump, M. J. (2011) ‘Hierarchical control of cognitive processes: the case for skilled typewriting’, Psychology of Learning and Motivation, vol. 54, pp. 1–27. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385527-5.00001-2
Longcamp, M., Zerbato-Poudou, M.-T. & Velay, J.-L. (2005) ‘The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children: a comparison between handwriting and typing’, Acta Psychologica, vol. 119, pp. 67–79. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2004.10.019
Longcamp, M., et al., (2008) ‘Learning through hand- or typewriting influences visual recognition of new graphic shapes: behavioral and functional imaging evidence’, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 802–815. doi:10.1162/jocn.2008.20504
Longcamp, M., et al., (2006) ‘Remembering the orientation of newly learned characters depends on the associated writing knowledge: a comparison between handwriting and typing’, Human Movement Science, vol. 25, no. 4–5, pp. 646–656. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2006.07.007
Mandler, J. M. (2014) Stories, Scripts, and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory, Psychology Press, New York.
Mangen, A., et al., (2015) ‘Handwriting versus keyboard writing: effect on word recall’, Journal of Writing Research, vol. 7, no. 2. doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.02.01
Mangen, A. & Velay, J.-L. (2010) ’Digitizing literacy: reflections on the haptics of writing’, in Advances in Haptics, ed M. H. Zadeh, InTechOpen, Rijeka, Croatia, pp. 385–402. doi: 10.5772/8710.
Mangen, A. & Velay, J.-L. (2014) Cognitive Implications of New Media’, In M.-L. Ryan, L. Emerson & B.J. Robertson (Eds.) The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 72–77.
Mueller, P. A. & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014) ‘The pen is mightier than the keyboard: advantages of longhand over laptop note taking’, Psychological Science, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 1159–1168. doi:10.1177/0956797614524581
Peterson, S. S. & Grimes, A. (2018) ‘Authentic writing in children’s lives outside school’, Early Childhood Education, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 20–25. Retrieved from https://www.ecec-ata.com/journal-early-childhood-education.html
Rogers, J. & Case-Smith, J. (2002) ‘Relationships between handwriting and keyboarding performance of sixth-grade students’, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 34–39. doi: 10.5014/ajot.56.1.34
Rogers, H., et al., (2003) The Status of Elementary Keyboarding: A Longitudinal Study, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI.
Rønneberg, V. & Torrance, M. (2019) ‘Cognitive predictors of shallow-orthography spelling speed and accuracy in 6th grade children’, Reading and Writing, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 197–216. doi: 10.1007/s11145-017-9751-3
Sedita, J. (2013) ‘Learning to write and writing to learn’ in Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, ed M. C. Hougen, Paul H. Brookes, Baltimore, MD, pp. 6–12.
Tulving, E. (1983) Elements of Episodic Memory, Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Vahtivuori-Hänninen, S., et al., (2014) ‘A new Finnish national core curriculum for basic education (2014) and technology as an integrated tool for learning’ in Finnish Innovations and Technologies in Schools, eds H. Niemi, J. Multisilta, L. Lipponen & M. Vivitsou, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 21–32.
Vinter, A. & Chartrel, E. (2010) ‘Effects of different types of learning on handwriting movements in young children’, Learning and Instruction, vol. 20, pp. 476–486. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2009.07.001
Wechsler, D. (1987) WMS-R. Käsikirja [Handbook]. Psykologien Kustannus Oy, Helsinki.
Weigelt Marom, H. & Weintraub, N. (2015) ‘The effect of a touch-typing program on keyboarding skills of higher education students with and without learning disabilities’, Research in Development Disabilities, vol. 47, pp. 208–217. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.09.014
Yamaguchi, M. & Logan, G. D. (2014) ‘Pushing typists back on the learning curve: revealing chunking in skilled typewriting’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 40, no. 2, p. 592–612. doi: 10.1037/a0033809
Yeganeh Doost, M., et al., (2017) ‘Two processes in early bimanual motor skill learning’, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 11, no. 618, pp. 1–13. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00618
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.