Note Taking Accommodations

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Note Taking Accommodations

  • Students with barriers pertaining to the act of note taking may have access to the information via audio recording. 

    Things to know about this accommodation:

    • Students must be approved and have a current Letter of Accommodation for the semester during which they are recording lectures
    • Students are encouraged to inform faculty that they will be recording lectures
    • Students should utilize their own personal recording device (digital audio recorder, smartphone, tablet, etc.) to access information in class
    • Students must be permitted to use their recording device in the classroom
    • Information contained in the recorded audio is protected under federal copyright laws
    • Students should use discretion in recording when content may not require note taking (i.e. discussion involving self-disclosure of sensitive information)

    Students approved to record their lectures acknowledge that the recordings are for personal use only. Class lectures, and comments made by classmates, are the property of the speaker and cannot be shared or transferred, by any means, with others.

  • Students with barriers pertaining to the act of note taking may be approved to utilize a personal laptop if it is deemed the most appropriate means of accessing notes in class.

    Things to know about this accommodation:

    • Students must be approved and have a current Letter of Accommodation for the semester during which they are using a laptop in class
    • Students must provide their own personal laptop
    • Use of laptop is for access to course materials and note taking purposes only and is not permitted to be used for any other reason
  • Students with barriers pertaining to the act of note taking may benefit from having access to PowerPoints, outlines, lecture notes, or other guided notes, prior to class or for review. 

    Things to know about this accommodation:

    • Students must be approved and have a current Letter of Accommodation for the semester during which they are requesting notes from instructors
    • Students should work with faculty to determine what information is available to them and how it will be distributed (i.e. electronic format, physical copies, time to review during an office hour)
    • Faculty are not obligated to disseminate their intellectual property, but are encouraged to support students need for access to information presented in class
  • Students with barriers pertaining to the act of note taking notes may have access to utilize a volunteer peer note taker.

    Generally, students are encouraged to attend class at least once to determine if the course will be structured in such a way that limitations will lead to missed information. Students who decide to utilize their volunteer note taker accommodation must complete the Note Taker Request Form (each semester). 

    Things to know about this accommodation:

    • Students must be approved and have a current Letter of Accommodation for the semester during which the note-taker is being requested
    • Note takers are not paid, rather they are peers from the course volunteering to share their notes with OSD
    • OSD will make every attempt to collect notes, though the quality, quantity, and frequency of the notes themselves cannot be guaranteed
    • Students requesting a note taker are kept anonymous, volunteers simply know they are sharing their notes for a student in the class

    How to request a volunteer note taker

    1. Complete the Note Taker Request Form for the course(s) you would like to use this accommodation in (each semester)
    2. OSD will contact course instructor requesting a volunteer
    3. Once a volunteer is identified they will send copies of notes to OSD to be distributed
    4. OSD distributes notes via email to the student who requested them within 24 hours of receiving the file

    Information for Volunteer Note Takers

    Thank you for volunteering to take notes for a student in need of access to the information in your course! While this is not a paid position, the experience could be used as community service, to enhance your resume, build leadership skills, and much more.

    You may be a great note taker if you:

    • Attend class regularly
    • Have a method to organize your notes, or use a specific note taking style (bullet notes, Cornell notes, etc.)
    • Are an active listener
    • Have specific experience, interest, or expertise in the content area

    How to be a Volunteer Note Taker

    If an instructor or staff from OSD initiates a request for a volunteer note taker, please consider this opportunity to support the academic success of a classmate.  Requests for note takers may come via email, D2L announcement, or verbally in class. 

    Steps to volunteering

    1. Share your email address, phone number, and start ID with OSD to be listed in the volunteer note taker database
    2. Take notes as you always have in your class
      • Label each note session with the Class, Section, Date, and Topic (if applicable)
        • Example: CHEM 1061-31, 8/24/2021, Cell Structure
        • DO NOT put your name on the notes
      • Consider electronic notes—typed notes are easiest to coordinate and read
      • Please use pen or ink for handwritten notes when possible
    3. Send a copy of your notes to OSD after each class using one of the following methods:
      • Typed notes can be sent via email to OSD@anokaramsey.edu (Word document format)
        • Microsoft 365 Word has a “Share” option in the upper right corner of the tool bar. Click “Share” and “attach a copy instead” at the bottom of the prompt.  This will generate an email with the word document attached.
      • Use a scanner application to make your physical notes digital and email them to OSD@anokaramsey.edu

    Tips for Volunteer Note Takers

    • Note important ideas, terms, concepts
    • Explain abbreviations or acronyms when using them for the first time
    • Ask questions about topics that need more clarification
    • Indicate uncertainty about content with a question mark or side note
    • Consider reviewing notes before they are sent to OSD

    What to include in your notes

    • Information written/typed on the board or presented on projector (if PowerPoint slides are provided, you do not need to repeat content
    • Any information that is repeated or emphasized, i.e. “this is important”, “this will be on your exam”, “don’t forget this”
    • Numbered or listed items, procedures, examples
    • Use key words, dates, phrases for fast-paced lectures as needed
  • Students with barriers pertaining to the act of note taking may be approved to utilize a personal device with a camera function to take pictures of notes, in particular visual representations such as graphs and drawings, if it is deemed an appropriate means of accessing notes in class.

    Things to know about this accommodation:

    • Students must be approved and have a current Letter of Accommodation for the semester during which they are using a personal device with a camera function in class
    • Student must provide their own personal device
    • Use of device is for access to course materials and note taking purposes only and is not permitted to be used for any other reason
    • Students are encouraged to inform faculty that they will be using a device to take pictures of notes
    • Students should only take pictures of materials they are not able to capture in another format

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