For Students Who Have Been Approved For Notetakers
What is My Responsibility In Obtaining Notetakers?
Where Do I Access My Notes?
Expectation of Students Receiving Notes
For Prospective Notetakers
Who are Notetakers?
How Would I Share my Notes?
The Notetaker Scholarship and Letters of Appreciation
Tips for Notetakers
How Do I Start? Sign Me Up!
For Students Who Have Been Approved For Notetakers:
If you qualify for notetakers please follow these directions (each semester):
- Fill out the Accommodation Request Form and indicate for which classes you anticipate needing notetakers.
- Note: for best results, request your notetakers as soon as possible (over the summer for the fall semester, for instance). It takes time to locate notetakers and the sooner you request them the better chance you’ll have them in place at the beginning of the semester.
- Note: Please be aware that some classes do not normally qualify for notetaking: Online courses, ENG 101 (where notetaking is part of the curriculum), and participatory classes like Labs and Recitation courses are examples where notetakers are not usually needed.
- Expect up to a two week period (if requested during the semester) to pass before your accommodations are completely implemented (this can happen as fast as the same day you request it, but sometimes there is difficulty recruiting a notetaker and it takes longer).
- Attend the first day of classes to determine whether the professor has made notes available through other means or supplemental notes will not be needed.
- Contact Disability Services after the first day of classes to eliminate those classes where notes are not necessary.
- If you drop or withdraw from a course, please notify Disability Services so that the search for a notetaker may be halted or the current notetaker let go. Alternately, if you add a course, please let DSS know so we can start recruiting a notetaker as soon as possible.
- Note: It is possible to request a notetaker later in the semester, but be aware that it will still take time to recruit one so plan accordingly.
Where Do I Access My Notes?
Notes are distributed via a First Class conference on your First Class Desktop. Shortly after you are notified that a notetaker is found, you should see a conference labeled, for example: CHY 121-0001 DSS NOTES. Notes will be posted in that conference as an attachment to an email. Please download and save the files, notetaker conferences are deleted shortly after the end of every semester.
Students will attend class and participate in class discussions and to the extent you are able, are encouraged to take their own notes in addition to the notetaker’s notes.
Students are expected to keep up with readings and class assignments. To do this, you are encouraged to view and download your notes on a regular basis.
If students are not receiving notes or find them lacking, please contact the Notetaker Coordinator Merlin Littlefield via First Class or by calling 581-2317 immediately so this problem can be corrected.
If it becomes clear that notes aren’t being viewed on a regular basis, then this accommodation will come under review.
Notetakers come from all corners of the student body: fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters, scholars, veterans, athletes, artists, valedictorians and salutatorians, community minded volunteers, and young professionals among many others.
“Being a notetaker is a mutually beneficial opportunity. Having that responsibility held me accountable for material that I may have otherwise neglected to follow up on and it helped me develop a transferable skill that is now benefiting me at my workplace.”
The notetaker is provided with three options which can be used to share notes. Universally of all these options is that notes are asked to be in a PDF format for ease of reading across all devices and platforms:
1.) Mobile Device Apps: A student can use apps such as TinyScanner to send notes. This method gives the student the ability to share notes immediately after class with the ease and speed of taking a picture. It is also the most preferred for it’s ease and quick turn around. Here is a short guide for using TinyScan. Just a photo from your phone is not okay.
2.) Scanner/Typed notes: if the notetaker has access to a scanner at their home, work or dorm room, they may scan their notes and email them. This allows the student to preview the notes and ensure their readability before sending the notes. If students type their notes in class they can review and then email a pdf version and send the notes.
3.) Photocopier Scan: In the East Annex we have available to notetakers a photocopier that they may use free of charge to scan their notes and email them directly to us in an easy 3 step process. A quick training on how to use the copier is available from the notetaker coordinator in Room 108 of the East Annex and is encouraged to avoid multiple visits for the same set of notes.
At the end of a semester, once all the notes have been received, the notetaker is granted a scholarship to the University of Maine Bookstore for EVERY class they provided notes for: a notetaker is free to volunteer for as many classes they have that need a notetaker.
The Scholarship is good for any item in the bookstore, not just books. Alternately, a letter of service can be written for the notetaker listing the hours of volunteer service as a notetaker that can be used to meet service requirements (for a fraternity/sorority or service organization for instance). In addition, upon request, a letter of appreciation can be made for a notetaker on University of Maine Disability Services Letterhead thanking them for their service to be included with their resume.
Frequency is very important for the effectiveness of (and the easiness of sharing) notes. Notes are to be turned in within twenty four hours of a class, and forty-eight hours in advance of a test. The best way to ensure this is to find a rhythm early on when sharing your notes and make it apart of your routine. Especially when using an app option, this can be accomplished within minutes.
Notes are to be legible. Nobody’s handwriting is perfect nor is perfection asked, but they should be readable to another person’s eye. This goes for scans as well, make sure that your scan is of good quality–look out for blurring, notes being too dark or light, or overall poor quality.
Avoid abbreviations except where class appropriate.
Avoid using a pencil (especially if you are scanning or photocopying your notes). The writing in pencil can sometimes show up as faded and unreadable, we have ways of trying to correct this should it occur, but you may be asked to provide your notes again. Note: there are classes where using a pencil is pretty much a requirement (math for example), if this is the case, please write dark or perhaps use an erasable pen.
Be sure to label and date your notes. During any given semester, we have literally hundreds of classes receiving notes. To ensure that the student receives your notes (and you receive credit for your notes) be sure to label them with the class and section number and date. If there are multiple pages, be sure to indicate pages (especially if they are in separate pdf files).
Page Header examples: CHY 121-0001; date of the class
File name examples: CHY121-0001page1.pdf; CHY121-0001page2.pdf;
There are many different styles of notetaking, it’s important for your success as a notetaker (and throughout your college career) to find one that works for you.
Check your FirstClass email regularly. This is where the majority of your communication with DSS Staff will be. You will receive periodic reminders of key events throughout the semester, tips and news that pertain to notetaking as well as opportunities that may come up that are exclusive to notetaking volunteers.
Notetakers are recruited in many ways, you may receive an email with the following subject line for example: $50 Bookstore Scholarship available for Students in CHY 121
Answering that email is your first step. From there you will be asked to agree to the following terms:
1.) Notes are to be legible and labeled from the moment you agree to be a notetaker forward.
2.)Notes are to be turned in at least 24 hours after each class, and 48 hours before an exam.
3.) Regular attendance is a must, but nobody is perfect–you will get sick or possibly have athletic commitments. If classes need to be missed notify the Notetaker Coordinator via email of missed classes. If you miss a class, try and get notes from a classmate. Please keep these absences to a minimum, if you foresee long term issues (serious illness) let DSS Staff know so that alternative arrangements can be made.
4.)Disability Services and the Notetaker Coordinator will make every effort to help and assist you during your time as a notetaker. We are here to work with you. Therefore communication of any difficulties or challenges is key. Having difficulties in itself is not an issue, but if you fail to meet the terms of the above–you acknowledge that you will forfeit the scholarship and possibly any future opportunities to be a notetaker.
In addition: if this is a program you’d like to proactively volunteer for, you may fill out the following form and will receive FIRST NOTICE should there be an opportunity in one of your classes: