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
Notetakers are recruited from classes in which the student(s) with a disability who uses note-taking services enrolls. A notetaking announcement will be read in class by the instructor and/or the announcement will be posted on Sakai or Canvas, or emailed to the class roster. Any individual who is willing to accept the responsibility of being a notetaker should sign up through Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) on the DSS homepage. Log in using your UDSIS user ID number and password, then click the “Sign Up as a Notetaker” icon in the log in box. The system will ask for the CRN (class registration number) for each class you are volunteering for, which is the number in parenthesis by each of your classes when you first log into UDSIS.
Once DSS selects a note-taker for a specific class, the notetaker will receive an email asking them to confirm the assignment by clicking a link connected to SAM. The note-taker may choose to decline the assignment at that time if they want. Once the notetaker has confirmed their assignment they should immediately start uploading their notes into SAM.
How to Upload Notes to SAM
To upload class notes, log in to Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) on 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 1 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.
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.
A note-taker can elect to provide notetaking services in return for confirmation of 15 hours of community service per class, or choose a letter of commendation. If a note-taker chooses these forms of compensation, DSS will supply a letter confirming the number of community service hours, and/or a letter of commendation at the end of the semester for the student to attach to a resume when seeking employment following graduation.
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.