Note-taking is a proven way to provide equal access and to contribute to the success of students who have various disabilities. By relying on a note-taker to provide the student with notes, the student’s full attention can be devoted to the professor, classroom discussions, and other learning activities. In addition, we encourage all students to continue to take their own notes.
This year, SAS has shifted to a 2-tiered model of supporting students. This new model includes Peer Note Sharing and Professional Note Taking. For eligible students, the Peer Note Sharing service is provided on a volunteer basis by peers who will receive non-financial incentives for sharing their notes, including a Letter of Acknowledgment and the option to include this role on their Record of Student Development (RSD). The majority of students eligible for note-taking support will be receiving Peer Note Sharing. In some cases, Professional Note Taking will be provided as a guaranteed accommodation. This service will be provided by a traing note-taker who may be a student in the class or an external provider. SAS will recruit, train, and supervise all Note Sharers and Note-Takers.
The Accessibility Consultant will determine a student’s need for a note-taker based on the documentation provided. Once approved, students must complete the Note Taking Request form for each course for which they will require note taking support. The Student Accessibility Officers will then match the student with a trained Peer Note Sharer or Note Taker.
Student Responsibilities for Note Taking Services
- Students have a responsibility in class to be actively engaged in the learning process to the full extent of their abilities. This includes taking their own notes in addition to those of the note-taker, when possible.
- Students have a responsibility to review their notes weekly. If there is a problem with the notes, they may discuss their concerns with the assigned note taker or a Student Accessibility Officer in order to find a solution.
- Students have the responsibility to attempt to attend all scheduled classes. If they do not attend a class, notes for that class will not normally be provided to them.
- Student Accessibility Services may provide carbonless copy paper, photocopying, or scanning services for hand-written notes.
- Students must not share their notes with any other student. Any unauthorized sharing of notes that have been provided to the student constitutes an act of academic dishonesty and their note taking services in all classes will be terminated immediately and permanently for the remainder of the academic term and the following term that they are registered in courses at Nipissing University.
Who is Eligible for Note Taking support?
A student’s Accessibility Consultant determines their eligibility for note taking support based upon consultation with the student and the recommendations provided in the student’s documentation.
Note Taker Matches
Student Accessibility Services recruits, trains, and supervises note sharers and note takers. Note sharers/takers undergo a training session(s) to ensure quality notes and support is provided to our students. We continue to monitor each note sharer/taker’s performance throughout the match.
Students who receive note taking support are encouraged to review their notes on a regular basis for any discrepancies they might find with the content, completeness, or neatness of the notes. They are to report any concerns to the Student Accessibility Officers.
Who is a Note Taker
A note sharer/taker may be a student registered in your course or an external person hired to be a note taker. If the note sharer/taker is registered in the course, they are to participate in the class as all other students do, but will provide a copy of the notes to the student(s) receiving note taking support. If the note taker is not registered in your class, they will attend each class and take notes for the student but will not participate in the class.
On the first day of class, note takers who are not registered in a course are expected to introduce themselves to the professor so that he or she is aware of the note taker’s role and the fact that they will not be participating in class discussions.
In smaller classes when there are student introductions, the note taker may introduce themselves as a note taker.
How Faculty Can Help
Some students may not require the support of a note-taker if you (the professor) are willing to provide a copy of the PowerPoint and/or course notes in advance or allow the use of an audio recorder. You may be asked by Student Accessibility Services to help support your students in one or both of these ways.
Note Taking Express
When SAS cannot locate a professional note taker for a student, the student will be given access to Note Taking Express (NTE). NTE allows students to record lectures using the NTE app, which students download on their cell phone, tablet, laptop or other device. Using the app, students can then audio record classes and upload the audio files to their secure account and NTE professional note takers create a set of notes for the student. It is not a transcription, but rather an organized set of notes that is delivered to a student’s NTE account within 48 hours. Audio files are uploaded directly to NTE and are not stored on a student’s device. More information on audio recording and intellectual property is listed in the FAQs section. All students using NTE would be required to abide by our policy for Audio Recording and sign our Audio Recording Agreement.
Students must provide reasonable notice to a Student Accessibility Officer when they are planning to be absent from any class, or when they withdraw from a scheduled course. Reasonable notice is typically not less than 24 hours before the scheduled class.
Notes may be provided to students for a missed class if they have discussed their absence in advance with their Accessibility Consultant and the absence is deemed to be related to their disability.
Should you have any questions or concerns about a student’s absenteeism, you are encouraged to speak with the student’s Accessibility Consultant.
Note Taker Absences
If the note taker is not able to be in class as scheduled, the note taker will notify Student Accessibility Services and every effort will be made to find a substitute note taker. Students will be notified of any note taker absence through their Nipissing email address.
If a suitable substitute note taker is not available, Student Accessibility Services will provide the student with an electronic recording device to record the lecture. It is the student’s responsibility to pick up the recording device from Student Accessibility Services. Recorded notes may be converted to hard copy or digital copy by Student Accessibility Services, when it is considered a disability-related accommodation.