Ivana Rich

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Fatih Ari


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Livescribe™ Symphony smartpen and the Cornell note-taking strategy on the lecture comprehension and quality of written notes of college student-athletes with learning disabilities. To explore educational tools and strategies that can assist students with learning disabilities in overcoming academic challenges, this study focused on three research questions: (1) how does the use of the Cornell note-taking strategy supported with a Livescribe™ pen affect the note-taking quality of student-athletes with learning disabilities (2) how does the use of the Cornell note-taking strategy supported with a Livescribe™ pen affect the comprehension of lecture content and vocabulary among student-athletes with learning disabilities? and (3) what are the experiences and perceptions of student-athletes with learning disabilities using Livescribe™ pens and their impact on note-taking and comprehension of lecture content?

The research was conducted with five student-athletes who had documented learning disabilities over a 10-week period in a personal and community health course at Norfolk State University. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, immediate free recall exercises, comprehension tests, students’ notes evaluated by a rubric, administered before and after the intervention, and a note-taking experience survey. An inductive approach was used to analyze qualitative data following the constant comparative method. Quantitative data were analyzed then organized and described using descriptive statistics. Five themes emerged from the data (a) perceptions of note-taking, (b) note-taking strategies, challenges, and areas for improvement, (c) perceptions of the Livescribe™ pen, (d) perceptions of Cornell note-taking, and (e) combined use of Cornell note-taking and Livescribe™ pen.

Findings indicate that participants developed positive perceptions of the Livescribe™ pen and Cornell note-taking strategy. Specifically, students found that the intervention assisted them in improving multiple aspects of note-taking, such as organization, quality, and efficiency. Additionally, students indicated that the resources assisted them in remembering lecture content, summarizing and consolidating information, and generating study questions. Implications for student-athlete support services and future research are discussed. Limitations of the study included aspects of the study’s design, sample, and measures used.