Handbook for Notetakers - Interpreting and Accommodation Services, Disabled Students Programs and Services

A Notetaker is a student peer who assumes the responsibility to take notes for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind or learning disabled students. Notetakers are a vital link in providing accommodations at Ohlone College. Your services are greatly appreciated.

This handbook outlines the policies and procedures to which you are expected to adhere. Doing so will ensure a successful semester for you and the student. At the end of the semester, you will receive priority registration for the following semester.  Failure to follow the handbook will result in forfeiture of priority registration.

Becoming a Notetaker

Registering as a Notetaker

  • You must meet with the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director upon accepting the role of Notetaker.
  • You must sign the Notetaker Contract.
    • Fremont Campus: go to the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office, Room 7112, Building 7, first floor.
    • Newark Campus: You can go to the Ohlone Fremont campus to sign the contract, or the contract may be signed and faxed to the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office, (510) 979-7401. Interoffice mail communication between the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director and teacher is another option.
  • During the first week, ask the teacher to introduce you to the students for whom you will be providing notes. If it is an anonymous student, contact the Interpreting & Accommodation Services Director.

Policies for Taking Notes

First Week

  • Check with the student to be sure he or she understands your notes and handwriting.
  • Ask if the student has any other needs or changes concerning the way notes are taken.

Appearance of Notes

  • Write legibly whether handwriting or printing.
  • Use dark ink to ensure clear copying.
  • Apply enough pressure on the surface if using carbon paper.

Quality of Notes Taken

  • Don’t be the judge of what information should or shouldn’t be included in the notes. Let the student be the judge. Write down as much information as possible.
  • Copy all information written on the board.
  • Record all assignments, references and special notices accurately. Note all due dates, room numbers, addresses, page numbers, and book titles.
  • Identify and record all principal points. This will be the core of the teacher’s lecture.
  • If unsure of a word’s spelling, write (sp?) next to or above the word.
  • If your notetaking style uses abbreviations and symbols, provide a key to aid in interpreting the notes.

Failure to follow these policies will result in forfeiture of priority registration

Procedures for Notetakers

Responsibilities of Notetakers

  • Be on-time for class.
  • Be consistent. Take notes during each class period.
  • Follow Policies for Taking Notes.
  • Determine how you will take the notes: plain paper, carbon paper, or electronic.
    • Electronic notes: you must exchange email addresses with the student. This option is only available if the student agrees and has access to email. If email access is an issue, the notes could be sent to the Interpreting & Accommodation Services Director at interpreting@ohlone.edu. The notes could then be printed and given to the student.
    • Carbon Paper: This is special paper for notetaking. You write on the top sheet and it makes a copy on the sheet underneath. Right after class, you can separate the two sheets, keeping one and giving the other to the student. This paper is highly recommended for use at Newark because copier availability is limited. If you don’t want to come the Fremont campus to pick it up, the paper can be sent to your teacher via interoffice mail.
    • Plain Paper: This is regular notebook paper. It is recommended for use in classes with multiple students requesting copies.
  • You must establish a process for exchanging notes and follow it.
    • Know when and where you will copy and exchange notes. Pick a specific date and time to do it. (i.e., immediately after class in the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office, every Tuesday at 10 am near the Library, emailed on Thursday nights at 7:30 pm, etc.)
  • After copying the notes, put them in the assigned notetaking mailbox or exchange at a pre-arranged meeting place.
    • Fremont Campus: mailbox is located outside Room 7217
    • Newark Campus: Leave the notes with the Newark Student Services Center Receptionist, Room NC1312, first floor, Wing 3.
  • You are encouraged to ask questions when you can’t hear the teacher or have difficulty following the discussion.
  • See the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director for special concerns or needs that arise in any notetaking assignment. No problem is too small. Please don’t try to ride it out or wait until it becomes a bigger issue. The Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office is here to help you.
  • Read the Notetaker Handbook thoroughly and follow all policies and procedures. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of priority registration.

Copying Notes

  • Do not pay to copy notes!!! Copies of plain paper notes can be made for free.
    • Fremont Campus: Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office, Room 7112, Building 7, first floor. The Director or any staff member can assist you.
    • Newark Campus: Newark Student Services Center, Room NC1312, first floor, Wing 3. If you have a problem making copies, contact the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director immediately.

Absence Policy

  • Student Absences:
    • If a student is absent do not provide notes for the class period during the absence.
    • If you are taking notes for several students in one class who start taking turns attending, report this to the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director immediately.
  • Notetaker Absences or Drops:
    • If you know that you will be absent for a long period of time, it is your responsibility to notify the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director as soon as possible.
    • If you know that you will be dropping the class it is your responsibility to notify the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Director immediately.

Miscellaneous

  • If the student doesn’t want the notes or you notice that notes are not being picked up from the Notetaker Mailboxes/Student Services Center, contact the Interpreting & Accommodation Services Director.
  • If you need help and the Director is not available, any staff member in Interpreting and Accommodation Services or the Deaf Center Receptionist can answer your questions or help with any problems.
  • If no one is available to help you, please leave a note on the Director's desk with the time you stopped by and your contact information. As soon as the Director returns, you will be contacted. You may also email the Director at interpreting@ohlone.edu.

A Final Note

This handbook has been designed to help you be a successful notetaker at Ohlone College. You are expected to know and follow the information presented here. Doing so will ensure a successful semester for you and the student. At the end of the semester, you will receive priority registration for the following semester. Failure to follow the handbook will result in forfeiture of priority registration.

Contact Information

See Contact Information for the Interpreting and Accommodation Services Office.