Office of Disability Services (ODS)

Volunteer for the Note Taker Program

photo of a student using a laptop in class
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) receives around 300 requests for note-takers each semester. As a volunteer note-taker, you can positively impact your peers and your own academic performance. Refine your academic skills and serve fellow students as a volunteer note-taker!

On this page:

What Does a Note-Taker Do?

Note takers simply share their personal lecture notes with a classmate.  Notes provided by volunteer note-takers supplement or provide notes for those who are unable to take notes during class. Note takers do not provide any academic assistance or advantage for those who use the service. A note taker is not a tutor, interpreter, or reader/writer. If you are a skilled note-taker, you could provide a valuable service to the campus community.

Every semester, ODS is seeking students who take thorough, clear notes; record important course content; and are willing to help other students succeed. It is rewarding and convenient to be a volunteer note-taker. You do not have to do any additional note taking to your own personal notes. Notes can be uploaded to ODS’s convenient online portal any time. 

Not all courses qualify for the note taking accommodation; courses that do not occur in real time or have no lecture/notes component do not qualify for notes, including online-only, developmental math, non-lecture courses, etc. Please contact ODS if you have questions about which courses qualify for note taking.

Do you think you would make a good note-taker? Read more to see if you would enjoy this position!

Why Do Students Need Note-Takers?

ODS facilitates access to note-taking accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  Eligible students have disabilities that may inhibit their ability to take notes, due to a variety of reasons: it may be a physical (limited use of hands, low vision, interacting with a sign language interpreter, etc.) or non-physical reason (difficulty listening and writing at the same time, difficulty transcribing verbal information).

By volunteering to be a note-taker, you are making a commitment to ODS, to assist in providing required accommodations. More importantly, you make a commitment to the student for whom you are taking notes. Your notes are a vital component of a fellow Raider’s academic success.

How to Volunteer

To qualify to become a volunteer note-taker, you must be a current Wright State student with 3.0 GPA, who is currently enrolled in a class that requires a note taker.

You may become involved in the note taker program through a variety of ways:

  • You receive an email from Sarah Mault in ODS, explaining that you have a student registered with ODS in your course.
  • You receive a message from a fellow student or instructor, requesting a volunteer.
  • You volunteer to take notes for ODS or a particular student (availability based your current schedule & note taker demand).

If you wish to volunteer, email Sarah Mault, coordinator of the note taker program, at sarah.mault@wright.edu; be sure to list the classes for which you are willing to take notes.

Disability Services will notify you via Wright State email if you have been matched with a note-taking assignment. Once matched, you will be registered for an account for our online database, the Accessibility Information Management (AIM) system. You will be instructed to log into AIM and sign a note taker agreement acknowledgment. Then, you will review a tutorial to learn how to upload notes to the AIM database: [https://youtu.be/inK6PgoMltI?list=PLbeMT23Eo_ZTISE1SZ7TJ2smrcWvVqEX9]

How Does Note Taking Work?

  1. Take notes as usual during class. Be sure to record all pertinent content.
    • Digital files (Word, PDF, etc.) are recommended to ease editing and delivery of notes.
  2. Upload notes to AIM database within 24 hours of the end of each class session.
    • The AIM portal is the only accepted method of delivery for those who wish to be compensated.
    • Students are responsible for bearing the expense of any copying, printing, etc. of notes (if student opts for paper copies).
  3. (Optional) Complete biweekly timesheet in WINGS Express.

Note-Taker Responsibilities

  • Maintain a respectful and professional relationship with the student you are serving.
  • Respect the student’s right to privacy by keeping names & all information regarding disability confidential.
  • Attend all class sessions.
    • In the event a note taker must be absent from class: Note-takers are required to make arrangements for a substitute note-taker, or for obtaining and delivering notes from another student as soon as possible.
    • If no notes are taken in class, upload a document stating there were no notes on [day] for [course] and your full name.
  • Maintain academic integrity and refrain from sharing copies of notes with other students.
  • Correspond using secure Wright State email addresses ONLY.
  • Notify ODS immediately of any note taking concerns, absences from class, or changes in your class schedule or phone numbers.

Note-Taking Benefits

Community Service Hours

Volunteer note-takers can receive community service hours from ODS, which may qualify certain academic or extracurricular program requirements.

Enhance Your Résumé

Example Résumé Statement:
Volunteer Note-Taker (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)
Wright State University, Dayton Campus, Office of Disability Services
Provided detailed class notes for qualified students registered with the Office of Disability Services. [# weeks or semesters] of accommodation note-taking service were completed.

Compensation

If you choose to be compensated, you will be paid for the sharing and timely delivery of your personal class notes in the agreed-upon format.  Each note taker will receive a predetermined amount for compensation (approximately $57), based on the length of time notes are provided. At the end of each bi-weekly pay period, you will report ½ hour per week that notes are provided at a rate of $8.15/hour.

To be compensated monetarily, note takers must submit the following materials:

  • A completed student employee hiring packet, to Career Services (E334 Student Union) within 30 days of the first day of the term.
  • A biweekly timesheet via WINGS Express (according to instructions below).

If you provide notes for an entire term, you would report 7 hours total, over the course of the semester.) If you start to provide notes after the first week of the term, you will receive a pro-rated amount, based on the number of weeks you did provide notes.

Tips for Successful Volunteer Note‐Takers

Basic Tips

  • Attend all class sessions, and arrange for a substitute if you will be absent.
  • Sit near the front of the classroom/near the instructor.
  • Be an active listener.

Taking Notes

  • Record the date and class on the top of the first page of notes.
  • Put the class session date and course number (BIO 1110-04) on the first page.
  • Make notes complete and clear enough to understand when you come back to them.
  • Explain all abbreviations or acronyms when using them for the first time.
  • Note important ideas, terms, and concepts.
  • Ask questions about topics that need more clarification.
  • Indicate uncertainty about any content with a question mark.

Include in Your Notes:

  • Anything written/typed on the board or presented on PowerPoint or projector. (if PowerPoint slides are provided by instructor, you do not have to repeat content.)
  • Any information that is repeated or emphasized by the instructor, especially when preceeded by key phrases (“finally,” “remember,” “most important,” “this will be on the exam,” etc.)
  • Numbered or listed items, procedures, examples, etc.
  • Important or new terms, definitions, and examples.
  • References to your text book (page numbers, exercises, graphics, tables, etc.) or other reference materials
  • Pertinent comments made by your instructor or classmates during discussions.
  • If you aren’t able to keep up with a fast-paced lecture, just write down key nouns, verbs, dates, etc.
  • Review your notes and fill in any gaps in concepts or content.
  • Upload your notes within 24 hours of the end of the class session.

Thank you for your interest in the volunteer note taker program!