Volunteer Notetaking Q & A
Florida Atlantic University
An Informational Brochure from the
Student Accessibility Services
Division of Student Affairs
NOTETAKING AS AN ACCOMMODATION
Some students registered with SAS have accommodations for notetaking assistance. Some students ask classmates for copies of their notes. Others, however, are uncomfortable doing this and prefer to request notes through SAS and their professors. Following are the steps to request and receive notes through SAS:
Before the semester begins, or no later than the first week of class, be sure to :
- Submit a request online through the SAS Clockwork Online Portal. Click on “Course Notes” and then “Courses/notes” in the upper left corner. Log in with your FAU username and password. Please consider that you might not need notes for online classes. However, if you still feel like you need notes for an online class, SAS will try its best to obtain a notetaker.
- Meet with your professor about your notetaking needs. Sometimes the professor will post materials on Canvas, which might serve as a substitute for a volunteer notetaker. If the professor assists in finding a notetaker, the process involves him or her making an announcement in class.
- After hearing the announcement, a classmate contacts SAS to provide notes through the SAS Clockwork Online Portal. All class notes are to be exchanged online. Instructions are included in the Helpful Hints for Notetakers brochure. You can find the brochure here.
- It is the student’s responsibility to inform SAS of any difficulties regarding volunteer notetaking. SAS staff will not know if there is a problem unless notified by the student.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: I have given my professor my Academic Accessibility Agreement letter and have talked to him/her about my accommodations, but no notetaker has been found. What can I do?
A: Here are some suggestions:
- Your professor should have receive a Memorandum as soon as you request a notetaker on the SAS Clockwork Online Portal. This Memorandum includes an announcement the professor is to read aloud to the class. If your professor has forgotten to read the announcement aloud, remind the professor to read the announcement for the next class.
- If the professor forgets to make the announcement a second time, contact SAS immediately.
Q: How often should I check the SAS Clockwork Online Portal for notes?
A: Check the SAS portal on a weekly basis. You need your notes to study for your upcoming lectures! We encourage our volunteer notetakers to upload their notes within 24 hours after a lecture. If you have any issues with the notes you are receiving, please contact the Notetaking Coordinator.
Q: Now that I have a notetaker, do I still need to take my own notes?
A: Absolutely! Keep taking notes, unless your disability physically prevents you from being able to do so. At a minimum, write down the key words. Later, you can look for the key words in the notetaker’s notes. The extra notes you receive are considered supplemental to your own. Remember that you are to use an audio recorder throughout the semester.
Q: My notetaker’s notes are perfect: why do I need to go to class?
A: Receiving great notes does not relieve you of your responsibility to go to class. If you stop attending class, SAS may suspend your notetaking services until you resume.
Q: Can I introduce myself to my notetakers?
A: Yes, but it is not mandatory. If you wish to communicate with your notetaker, contact the Notetaking Coordinator. Some students prefer that their notetakers know who they are, and some notetakers want to meet the person they are helping. If you have met your notetakers, be polite and appreciative of their help throughout the semester.
Q: If a classmate asks me for a copy of my notes, can I give them out?
A: No. The notes are provided for your use only and should not be shared.
Q: What happens if I have problems with my notetaker?
A: If your notetaker does not consistently upload their notes, or the notes are incomplete or illegible, notify the Notetaking Coordinator immediately. You may need another notetaker.
Q: Does the staff at SAS discuss my disability with my notetakers?
A: No. Your confidentiality is respected.
Q: I want to find my own notetaker. How do I do this?
A: Tell your professor you want to find a notetaker on your own. Remember, the best student in class may not be the best person for taking notes. Students who are very familiar with class material are less likely to take detailed notes. They could leave out examples that may be crucial to your understanding. Find a notetaker who is a good student and is as new to the material as you are. Help your classmate understand WHY you are asking for copies of the notes and how you will be using them. Give the notetaker the brochure Helpful Hints for Notetakers. The brochure provides helpful information and gives credibility to your request, which can make it easier for you to approach classmates. The brochure also describes how the student can earn Volunteer Hours or Service Points