Thank you for your interest and willingness to become a note-taker for your fellow classmates who have disabilities impacting the note-taking process. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated by us as well as the students whom you will provide notes. Some students have disabilities that prevent them from being able to take effective and complete notes during class. These disabilities may or may not be readily apparent to another person, but their eligibility to receive note-taking services has been documented and authorized by Disability Support Services (DSS). The role of the notetaker is to provide a student(s) with a disability class notes via regular uploads into Student Accommodation Manager (SAM). In doing so, the notetaker facilitates equivalent access to class information available to all students, with or without disabilities.
How to Sign Up to be a Notetaker
If a volunteer notetaker is needed in a class, the professor will be notified by DSS and will make an announcement to the class. If you are interested in signing up to volunteer please follow these steps:
- Click on the Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) button, on the DSS homepage.
- Log in using your UDSIS User ID/ UDID# and password, then click the “Sign Up as a Notetaker” icon in the log in box.
- If you are a DSS registered student, please contact our office to verify your eligibility to sign up as a notetaker.
- If you are currently registered as an employee with our office, please login to Online Services and sign up as a notetaker through My Dashboard.
- For new “Notetakers” you will need to enter your UDID# and email address (please use your UD email address in all requested email fields)
- The next screen will ask for additional information (such as, name, address and cell phone number); once submitted you will be automatically logged out and your SAM account will be created.
- On the log in screen, click “Sign In” to request a notetaking assignment. You will need the “Course Registration Number (CRN)” which is a 4-digit number you can find in UDSIS or on your class schedule.
- Once logged into SAM, you will electronically sign the “Notetaker Agreement/Contact” and can begin searching for courses/Notetaking Assignments using the CRN.
- You will be asked to verify courses and select your method of compensation (either 15 community service hours per class, or a Letter of Commendation)
- Once you have been assigned as the notetaker, you will be sent an email to confirm your assignment. You may choose to decline the assignment, if you are no longer interested in volunteering, at this time.
- Once you have received the confirmation email, you should begin uploading notes to SAM.
How to Upload Notes to SAM
- To upload class notes, log in to Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) the DSS homepage.
- Within your SAM profile, in the navigation links on the top, click on “Notetaker” and scroll down to upload notes for each class assigned.
- To upload, each file must be less than 20 MB. Name the file according to the class and date and be sure the format is compatible; not all students have the latest version of MS Word.
- If you are scanning your notes please be sure the scan resolution isn’t set too high; typically, 150 dpi is good for the scan resolution. PowerPoints are typically too big and will need to be converted into a PDF.
- Notetaker and DSS Student names remain confidential throughout the semester. If you have any concerns, please reach out to DSS directly.
When to Upload Notes to SAM
It is vital for students with disabilities to receive their notes as soon as possible. The same day is preferred so they can have equal access to class materials to study for exams and quizzes. For example, if you take notes in a MWF class and there is a quiz on Monday, the student with a disability will need the Friday’s class notes ON Friday to have equal access.
Tips for Taking Good Notes for a Student with a Disability
Typed notes are the preferred method for most lectures. Include class title and date of the class next to the class title, etc. (e.g., MATH 241, 9/2/16). Also include instructions for any assignments if given, and dates for upcoming exams, papers, or other assignments if noted in class. If the professor uses PowerPoint presentations available to all students, include all additional lecture information and note what slide it was on. Class discussion notes should also be included.
- Listen for repeated details from the instructor.
- Listen for sentences containing the following words: results, cause, characteristics, purpose, criticisms, contrasts, similarities, and summary.
- Include any information the instructor indicates will be on the exam.
- If there were no notes for a particular class meeting, write the following: “No Notes for the class meeting on 00/00/0000”. If known, please write the reason no class notes were given, e.g., instructor dismissed class for library research.
- Use a black or blue pen when taking handwritten notes so the scan will be clear.
- For a clear scan, only use the front side of the paper, do not write on the back.
Notetakers who have concerns about some aspect of the notetaking process and/or the student they are taking notes for should contact DSS at 302-831-4643 or firstname.lastname@example.org. DSS staff members will ascertain the appropriate course of action based on information gathering and discussions with the student with a disability, the instructor of the course, and the note-taker.