In previous work assessing memory at various levels of representation, namely the surface form, textbase, and situation model levels, participants read texts but were otherwise not actively engaged with the texts. The current study tested the influence of active engagement with the material via note taking, along with the opportunity to review such notes, and the modality of presentation (text vs. spoken). The influence of these manipulations was assessed both immediately and 1 week later. In Experiment 1 participants read a text, whereas in Experiment 2 participants watched a video recording of the material being read as a lecture. For each experiment the opportunity to take notes was manipulated within participants, and the opportunity to review these notes before the test was manipulated between participants. Note taking improved performance at the situation model level in both experiments, although there was also some suggestion of benefit for the surface form. Thus, active engagement with material, such as note taking, appears to have the greatest benefit at the deeper levels of understanding.

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