Best Practices for Volunteer Student Notetakers
Identifying a volunteer student notetaker
- The student registered with Student Disability Services may already know a student in class who can serve as a note-taker.
- The instructor may have a good idea which students may be able to serve as good note-takers.
- The instructor can post or share this slideshow on the course ICON page or in their lecture presentation.
- The instructor can make an announcement in class or through email to solicit a volunteer. An example of an announcement an instructor can use is:
“I am looking for a volunteer to share their class notes, as part of an accommodation, with a student in this class. If you are willing to do this, please contact me.”
For confidentiality reasons, the announcement should not identify the student’s name. It is appropriate if an instructor wants to provide extra credit for a student serving in this capacity.
If the student is seeking guidance on the volunteer notetaker role, please share the Volunteer Notetaker Guidelines with them using the following link:
Volunteer Notetaker Guidelines
Thank you for volunteering as a notetaker for the student registered with Student Disability Services during this semester!
Your assistance as a notetaker will help ensure the student is given equal access to in-class information. Reviewing notes will also improve your own retention of the course material. Thanks for contributing to equal access at the University of Iowa by fulfilling this important role!
Guidelines for note taking:
- Write the course name and date on the first page of your notes.
- Write the page number on the bottom right of each page (1/1) to help the student order and organize your notes. For example, if you have four pages of notes your last page will have 4/4 on the bottom right-hand side.
- One suggestion is to use the The Cornell Method for Note-taking.
- Share your notes in accessible formats, the easiest is a word document and running the accessibility tracker.
- Please take notes on any assignment directions or reminders given in the class. This includes reminders about any quizzes or exams, reviews, and changes to the course schedule. These are very important for students navigating the class.
- The SDS student using the Class Notes accommodation should remain anonymous to you, if you learn who the student is please keep their information private.
- Make every attempt to share your notes right after class so that the student has access to the materials. If you are unable to share immediately, please do your best to share within 24 hours of the class so the student can study and review in a timeline manner.
Do your best to take accurate and clear notes. Many volunteers note takers feel a lot of pressure to be perfect when taking notes. What is most important is consistency, accuracy, and being reliable.
If you are unable to take notes or are unable to continue being a volunteer note taker let the instructor know immediately so they can find an alternative.