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Note-taking and classroom accommodations for students with brain injuries: What approaches matter most?

Carrie Lynn Childers, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Individuals with brain injuries (BIs) are increasingly pursuing postsecondary education. Many such students require accommodations to achieve academic success; however, no research exists about the efficacy of these accommodations. Additionally, limited information is available about preferred school environments and academic accommodations. ^ The researcher used an alternating treatments design to examine the effect of three notetaking methods on the recording of information and post-lecture quiz performance exhibited by three postsecondary students with BIs when listening to short narrated PowerPoint® lectures. Participants heard lectures; they engaged in brief study periods by reviewing self-generated notes, examining peer notes, or mentally reviewing lecture content without access to previously-recorded notes; they then completed quizzes. The researcher also compared the amount of information participants with BIs recorded in self-generated notes and their quiz scores with the average performance of peer participants without BIs. Interviews with two participants with BIs provided information about benefits and challenges of note-taking methods and views about optimal learning environments and academic accommodations. ^ Participants recorded less than 50% of the lecture information when taking notes. Two participants with BIs recorded comparable amounts of information as peer participants, whereas the third recorded a significantly greater percent of information. Two participants with BIs omitted a comparable percent of critical information from their notes as peer participants, and the third omitted a significantly higher percent. One participant with BI scored significantly lower on quizzes than peer participants, but all participants with BIs demonstrated no significant quiz score differences across note-taking conditions. ^ The interviewed participants expressed a preference for taking notes or using peer notes because having no notes placed high memory demands on them. They commented that peer note usefulness depended on clarity and content. They identified multiple academic accommodations and environmental modifications as being beneficial. ^ The results highlight the need for individualized assessments to identify optimal accommodations for students with BIs. Future researchers should focus on identifying efficacious accommodations using larger participant groups and conducting research in authentic environments.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Speech Pathology|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Childers, Carrie Lynn, "Note-taking and classroom accommodations for students with brain injuries: What approaches matter most?" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3603814.