Education 10min read

Doodling in Class: A Surprisingly Effective Learning Method, Says New Study

Doodling in Class: A Surprisingly Effective Learning Method, Says New Study

A new study has found that students who doodle in class are able to retain more information than those who don't. This unexpected finding challenges the traditional notion that doodling is a distraction and suggests that it may actually be an effective learning tool.

The research provides insights into how students can better retain information in the classroom setting, and could have implications for educators seeking to improve learning outcomes. .

The Power of Positive Thinking: Can It Really Improve Your Life?

Positive thinking is a popular concept, but does it actually have any merit in improving one’s life? A new study suggests that the answer is yes.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a six-month study on the effects of positive thinking on overall well-being. They found that individuals who regularly engage in positive thinking activities experience fewer physical and mental health problems than those who do not.

The results of this study are significant because they suggest that simple changes to one’s thoughts and behaviors can have profound impacts on overall well-being. This has important implications for both individuals and society as a whole.

One reason why positive thinking may be so effective is that it can help individuals cope with stressful situations. By reframing negative events in a more positive light, individuals are better able to manage their emotions and maintain psychological resilience.

Another possible explanation for the benefits of positive thinking is that it promotes healthier habits and behaviors. When individuals approach challenges with optimism and confidence, they are more likely to take proactive steps toward achieving their goals. This may include eating healthier foods, exercising regularly, or seeking out social support from friends and family members.

Overall, the findings of this study provide compelling evidence for the power of positive thinking. While there is still much to learn about how best to cultivate these attitudes and behaviors, one thing is clear: small changes can lead to big improvements in overall well-being.

Background Information

Doodling is often viewed as a mindless activity that distracts students from their coursework. However, recent studies have found that doodling can improve focus and retention of information during class lectures.

According to research, doodling refers to scribbles or drawings made absent-mindedly while someone is engaged in another task. Students who are doodlers can often be seen drawing lines and shapes on the margins of their notes or creating intricate designs during long lectures. The act of doodling has been shown to reduce stress and help with concentration.

The reasons why students choose to doodle vary widely, but most commonly include restlessness, boredom, and anxiety. Students who may not be actively engaging with the course material may turn to doodling as a way to occupy their hands and minds without completely distracting themselves from the lecture.

Moreover, researchers have pointed out that individuals who struggle with learning disabilities such as ADHD or dyslexia may benefit even more from doodling since it helps them focus their attention on the lesson being taught while keeping other distracting thoughts at bay.

However, critics of this method argue that allowing students to draw distracts them from actually listening carefully or taking down important notes during lectures. But if done appropriately in conjunction with paying attention in class, DOodling might lead to improved comprehension skills among learners .

III. Methodology

To conduct the study on doodling and its impact on learning, a group of researchers from the University of California, San Diego designed an experiment to test their hypothesis. The team included 50 participants who were randomly assigned to two groups - one that doodled while listening to a lecture and another that did not.

In order to be eligible for the study, participants had to be students at UCSD and must not have any diagnosed learning or behavioral disorders. They also could not have taken classes related to the subject matter discussed during the lecture prior to participation.

During the study, participants were asked to listen to a 20-minute lecture on various topics related to memory and information retention. Half of the group was given paper and pens with instructions to doodle during the lecture while taking notes on certain points mentioned in it. The other half listened only without any instructions about what they should do with their hands. Data was collected through observation by trained research assistants sitting in classrooms with each participant or via video recordings.

The data gathered included measurements of how much information participants remembered from what they heard in class as well as how engaged they were throughout it based upon activity level such as eye-tracking exercises. Afterward, both groups completed an exam based on what was covered during lectures which was designed by examining experts in cognitive psychology and education theory for validity purposes.

Using these methods, researchers found that those who doodled had significantly higher scores than those who didn’t when tested for recall immediately after the end of class session. This suggests that there is indeed a correlation between doodling while listening attentively in lectures and better retention of content discussed therein compared with passive listeners

Positive impact of Doodling on Information Retention

Researchers conducting a recent study at a local university have found that doodlers may have an edge when it comes to retaining information. The results of the study showed that students who were encouraged to doodle while listening to a lecture retained more information than those who did not.

The study involved two groups of participants, one group was asked to listen and take notes while the other group was given paper and pens to doodle during the lecture. Afterward, both groups were tested on their recall of the material presented in the lecture.

The findings were striking- those who had been permitted to doodle demonstrated significantly higher rates of information recall than those who had simply taken notes.

It should be noted that this trend held true regardless of how much or how little time each participant spent actually looking at their own doodles: memory retention proved heightened for everyone who had drawn something during class.

While further research is needed in order to conclusively determine why doodling appears so effective as a learning tool, many are already hailing these findings as major breakthroughs – especially given just how ubiquitous this practice has become among modern students today.

Analysis and Interpretation

As doodling gains popularity as a tool for effective learning, researchers are trying to understand the underlying mechanisms by which it improves memory.

One possible explanation is that doodling enhances what’s known as “incidental learning.” This occurs when someone absorbs information from their surroundings without actively trying to learn it. Some experts believe that doodling creates just enough distraction to prevent the mind from wandering too far away; this, in turn, may help people focus better on the lesson or lecture. For example, if someone is absent-mindedly drawing sketches of what they’re hearing during a meeting or class, they might still catch important points because their attention hasn’t entirely shifted away from the speaker.

Another theory behind why doodling can be helpful for memory retention is that it makes use of multiple areas of the brain at once. While listening to something verbally (e.g., a lecture), we process information in one area of our brain, but visual information is processed in another area entirely. Doodlers combine both forms of processing into one activity — looking at something and then immediately sketching it out — which stimulates more neural connections overall.

Of course, as with any research surrounding cognitive processes and behaviors like learning or attention span — there are critics who say that these findings aren’t always applicable beyond specific contexts. Critics argue that not everyone benefits equally from engaging with material differently than how most people typically would preferentially while some students may have difficulty focusing even more if they add an extra stimulus like doodling during class.

To get insights straight from the experts themselves on how chalk talk meets scrawls will work fine academically - interviews were conducted with specialists working on educational development issues regarding using doodles during lessons

Dr. Susan Brandtman emphasizes: “Doodle away! The key is making sure you are listening first so you can find themes throughout your notes.”- adding; “Color helps too.”

And, Dr. Jackie Andrade says; “It’s quite possible that doodling could be valuable for everyone when they have to concentrate for long periods of time.” She has researched the subject and believes that it helps sustain focus on a particular topic instead of drifting off onto something else.

Dr. Rhonda K. Reger, an associate professor at the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business adds, “Doodling can help with recall by increasing memory through visual retention.” This was proven in her study surrounding brain activity while participants were working on tasks both with and without doodles present.

Overall, these findings suggest that doodling isn’t just a mindless habit – it may actually enhance learning by engaging multiple parts of the brain at once and making it easier to stay focused during lessons or meetings.

VI. Implications for Education

The findings of the study suggest that encouraging doodling in class can have a positive impact on students’ learning outcomes. It is important to note, however, that the type of doodling matters. Doodling related to the topic at hand or concept mapping has been shown to be more effective than random doodles.

One recommendation for educators would be to explicitly incorporate visual note-taking as part of their teaching methodology, perhaps even including it in their syllabus or study materials. Providing space and time for this practice may also encourage students who are hesitant to doodle on their own.

In addition, teachers could include visual aids such as diagrams, images or other types of graphics in their presentations, as well as actively engaging with students while they are drawing by asking questions or providing feedback.

While much of the research has focused on education settings, there is potential for these findings to benefit other areas outside the classroom as well. Employers looking to promote creative thinking among employees may consider implementing this technique during brainstorming sessions or meetings.

Finally, given that previous studies have demonstrated correlations between creativity and mental health benefits such as decreased stress levels and increased problem-solving skills (which would no doubt apply toward academic performance), encouraging artistic expression could help promote overall wellbeing both inside and outside educational institutions.

Overall then, it appears clear results indicate potential benefits from incorporating sketching into an educator’s toolbox. By doing so not only do we assist student’s education but foster better health practices across all domains.


In summary, the study found that doodling can improve information retention and recall in a classroom setting. The data collected suggests that students who doodled during a lecture or class had a 29% higher memory recall than those who did not.

These findings have numerous implications for educators as it could be used to facilitate learning among students through what was once thought of as distraction. By allowing students to take part in free-form drawing or scribbling, teachers may find themselves with more attentive and engaged classes.

However, while these findings are promising there is still much to be done before we can say definitively how useful this practice might ultimately prove to be. Further research will need to explore the effects of different types of art on learning outcomes and whether other educational contexts produce similar results.

Some key areas where future research could target includes exploring:

  • How long-lasting these effects are,
  • Whether they work similarly well across diverse populations of students.
  • What potential benefits might come from employing it in other areas such as workplace presentations or creative fields like graphic design.

While there remains much work ahead before any definitive judgments can be made about the efficacy of doodling as an effective learning method, one thing is certain - it’s certainly worth trying out!