Learning to take notes is an important skill that many students have to develop as they enter college. Students who experience disability-related barriers or limitations with capturing lecture material in real-time courses may be approved for assistance or accommodations to support their notetaking. We take a holistic approach to notetaking through a combination of the following:
- Workshops and 1:1 consultations on notetaking strategies in partnership with Student Success at the CORD.
- Use of a computer to take notes.
- Loaning and training on notetaking technology/apps to support your notetaking (e.g. Microsoft OneNote, Otter.ai, LiveScribe Smartpen, other audio recording apps). You will have permission to use these technologies in-class, even if an instructor typically has a no-tech or no-recording policy.
- Access to lecture slides.
For students who are unable to effectively utilize the above supports to take their own notes, peer notetaking services may be offered as a reasonable accommodation. For this accommodation to work effectively, it requires communication between the student with a disability and the CEA, and also between the student with a disability and the note-taker. Note-takers are recruited from classes in which the student with a disability is enrolled.
The student with the disability will use notes for personal study purposes only, and must not sell, redistribute, copy, or divulge class notes provided as an accommodation.
Please review the following information and let the CEA know if you have any questions.
The Role of a Peer Notetaker
The role of the notetaker is to provide an upload with their typed notes or scanned copy of their handwritten class notes for a student(s) with a disability. In doing so, the notetaker facilitates equivalent access to class information available to all students, with or without disabilities. It is not acceptable for a notetaker to refer a student with a disability to NoteHall or any other paid service for a copy of their notes.
Peer notetaking services are supplemental and are not meant to be instructional. Students with disabilities should not use notetaking services as their sole means of study for the course. Class attendance, participation in class discussions, course readings, handouts, a student’s own class notes, and discussions with the instructor, together constitute essential elements of study for a course.
Students with disabilities should not request the notetaker to engage in roles that are unrelated to notetaking. For example:
Notetakers are not an additional professor or instructor of the class. Students should not ask the notetaker to repeat information from the instructor of the class, nor should they ask the notetaker to meet after class to explain concepts, information, or other class material from the day. Students should not ask the notetaker to clarify the syllabus, classroom policies, assignments, exam material, and related classroom issues. For each of the above-mentioned situations, the student should consult the instructor for the course.
Notetakers and students with disabilities should not engage in extraneous relationships with each other. While the CEA understands that some students with disabilities have friends who provide note-taking services, it is imperative to keep social relationships separate from the responsibility to provide notes. Students should not ask the notetaker to meet outside of class except to exchange notes, if needed. Furthermore, for these purposes students should not ask the note-taker to engage in activities or behavior not related to the provision of notes.
Options for Provision of Notes
Typed notes uploaded via your CEA Student Profile is the preferred method.
With prior approval, scanned handwritten notes or other delivery methods may be approved.
In certain situations, notes may be copied free of charge in the CEA office in the Arkansas Union during regular business hours (Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.)
Students with disabilities who have peer notetaking services as an accommodation are required to attend class to receive notes. Class notes are supplemental in nature and do not replace actual class attendance. Notetakers may not be obligated to provide notes from classes that the student with a disability missed, unless approved by the CEA, or if prior arrangements have been made between the student with a disability and the notetaker.
Students with disabilities who miss three or more classes without having made arrangements with the notetaker and/or notified the CEA may have notetaking services suspended until they contact a CEA staff member to discuss their situation.
Likewise, students with disabilities are expected to arrive to class on time. Excessive tardiness may result in suspension of notetaking services, except when advance notice has been given.
Students with disabilities who have concerns about a notetaker in one of their classes should contact the CEA at 479-575-3104 or email@example.com immediately. The CEA staff members will determine the appropriate course of action based on information gathering and discussions with the student with a disability, the instructor of the course, and the notetaker.