Notetakers

What is a notetaker?

  • A notetaker is a volunteer who provides copy of their notes to a student with a disability.

How do I become a notetaker?

  • If a notetaker is needed in a course, the instructor will make an announcement asking for volunteers. You can then let them know you’re interested and provide your notes for review.
  • You could also let the instructor know that if someone ends up needing notes in the course, you are willing. You should show the instructor an example of your notes.
  • You can sign up to be a notetaker on the Accommodation Request Portal before an announcement is made, as well. If a notetaker is required, you will receive an email pairing you with a student.

What are my responsibilities as a notetaker?

  • Take notes during class
  • Attend all classes - if you must miss a class, alert both the student(s) receiving your notes and the instructor
  • Take clear and concise notes
  • Make sure your notes are legible (or use a computer)
  • Be prepared for class • Sit near the front, or in the place you’re best able to pay attention
  • Upload your notes to ARP as soon as possible - preferably within 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours after class
  • Properly label your notes:
    • Class number OR Name of class AND
    • Section number AND
    • Instructor name AND 
    • Date of notes AND
    • Number each page
  • Check your notes before uploading them - be sure they’re good quality, clarify things that need clarifying, correct spelling errors, add additional information if necessary
  • Keep the name of the student(s) you are taking notes for confidential
  • Track your volunteer hours and turn in the tracking page at the end of the semester.

How do I sign up to be a notetaker? 

How do I get my notes to the student(s) who need them?

  • Scan your notes - if you need help, ask a library staff member or a CSD student employee
  • Sign on to the Accommodation Request Portal 
  • Click on “Notetaker” in the top black ribbon
  • Click on “Upload and View Notes”
    • Choose your class from the dropdown
    • Choose the week from the dropdown
    • Choose the day(s)
    • Click “Choose File” and find the notes you want to upload
    • Click “Upload Notes”

Strategies For Taking Good Notes

  • Remember - this not only assists a student/students in your class, but it also helps you become a more effective note taker! 
  • Feel free to use understandable abbreviations and symbols (for example, etc., misc., i.e.).
  • Drawings are good too as long as they are clear and not too complicated.
  • Listen for big ideas and key words
    • Facts o Connections
    • Main ideas
  • Questions to Ask Yourself
    • What is the topic?
    • What do I need to know about the topic?
    • Why is this topic important?
    • What is an example of this topic?
    • How did this event or procedure come about?
  • Look for instructor’s verbal cues o Repeating information
    • Pausing or slowing down 
    • Talking louder
    • Saying things like… 
      • “The main cause was…” 
      • “Something you should remember is…”
  • Look for instructor’s non-verbal cues
    • Hand gestures
    • Pointing at words on the board - be sure to copy all of the information the instructor writes on the board
    • Instructor looks at students’ notes to make sure they are writing things down correctly 
  • Avoid using pen colors other than black, dark blue, and red; light colors can be difficult to scan
    • Pen is better than pencil for the same reason; if writing in pencil, be sure your marks are dark
  • Avoid using highlighters, unless you are careful to scan in color every time
    • If using highlighters, stay away from light blue and any shade of red, orange, and pink; the scanner may miss the blue, and may translate the red/orange/pink as black
  • Skip lines
  • Box formulas
  • Identify videos, books referenced, etc.
  • Indicate if the information is from someone other than the professor (i.e. a student from the class)
  • Emphasize important points by
    • Underlining o Using bigger letters 
    • Using symbols such as stars
  • Leave blank spaces in your notes if you’re unsure of the information