From a research study on the effects of Graphic Organizers on learning, we know that if you want your students to learn something long term, have them use a Graphic Organizer. This research found the impact of using Graphic Organizers with students overwhelmingly effective on achievement.
The study included over 16,000 ninth grade students in schools across the United States. Classes were given a pre-test in order to place them in a control group and an experimental group that were close enough in their make-up to be comparable. Content on the pre-test was not on the unit topic but on general knowledge to enable norming of the groups. Pre-test scores of all students and those with learning disabilities are shown below. All students were then taught a unit of study, with the control group taking notes and listening to traditional lectures, while the experimental group completed and used Graphic Organizers on all new content taught. At the end of the unit, all students took the same post-test.
Results are shown below, as well as the results when students were retested on the same content ten and twenty days later to gauge long-term retention.