Office for Students with Disabilities
If the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) determines that a documented disability prevents a student from taking effective or efficient notes, OSD may authorize note-taking services as a reasonable accommodation. Such services may encompass a variety of forms.
Professors may assist in identifying a classmate willing to share their notes. Interested classmates should contact OSD for further information. If no classmate can be found to share notes, or the note sharer's notes are not sufficient, then the student should contact OSD about finding a note taker from outside the class.
Responsibilities for students using a note taker
- Take your own notes (if your disability allows) to supplement by the note taker’s notes
- Realize that on days that you are absent from class, note takers have no responsibility to take notes for you
- Be assertive in communicating what kind of notes are needed in order to make the class accessible for you
- Do not ask the note taker to change his/her whole style of note taking. If the style doesn’t work for you, you may need to find another note taker
- Supply your own paper for note taking. Carbonless paper is available from OSD
- Bring extra paper to class in case your note taker is absent
- Do not make your note taker late for another class. If you have questions about the notes, arrange a convenient time to discuss them
Role of a note taker
- Students who need note taking assistance often wish to remain anonymous. Confidentiality is of utmost importance
- Communicate frequently and openly with the student you are assisting to make sure that the student’s needs are being met
- Provide clear, complete notes in a timely manner
- Only take notes when the student is present
- Be assertive about your own needs by telling the student if note taking is compromising your participation in the class
- Use note taking materials provided by the student or work out another method which meets both of your needs
- Let the student know if you will be absent from class (exchanging phone numbers is suggested)
- Allow reasonable time to explain notes if needed
Instructions for note taker
- Mark each page with the date, class, and page number
- If the lecture is being recorded, write the counter number beside important information
- If tape recording, start each day with a fresh tape and set the counter at 0.
- When using carbonless paper, use blue or black ink and make sure that you press hard enough for the writing to come through on the copy
- If notes are to be photocopied, use black ink or a #2 pencil
- Read materials and/or outline of the lecture so your notes will be well organized
- Listen for points the instructor is stressing
- Look for patterns and begin to decipher what types of information the instructor will refer to on a test
- In the margin, keep a list of any abbreviations you use, definition of words, and main points
- Skim notes to make sure they are legible, complete, and understandable.
- It is important that neither the student nor the note taker be without a set of notes for an extended period of time. Studies have demonstrated that reviewing notes right after class may improve your ability to retain information.
Interested in sharing your class notes for money?? Please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities.