Handbook for Notetakers

A Notetaker is a peer student in the same class as a student registered with DSPS who is requesting notetaking accommodations. Notetaking is a supplementary accommodation to assist with information gathering. Peer-Student Notetakers are a vital link in providing accommodations at Ohlone College, and we greatly appreciate your service.

All notetakers, new or returning, are expected to view the Being a Notetaker video (MP4) each semester

Please read the Notetaker Handbook for a full description of the department's policies and procedures

Frequently Asked Questions during the Semester.

Q. How do I become a notetaker?

Usually, if a notetaker is required in the class, the instructor will make an announcement the first day or week. When this happens, notify the instructor that you are interested; most classes require only one notetaker, regardless of the number of students who need the service. In the case that there are multiple volunteers, it is up to the student(s) and the instructor to choose.

Once selected, you must complete and sign the Notetaker Contract. Please note: this is a binding contract. You should read the entire document before you sign it. When the contract is completed, you must meet with the Accommodation Services Specialist or representative in the Accommodation Services & Interpreting Department to formally accept the role of Notetaker and be eligible for an award.

Select one (1) of the following options for submitting your contract:

  1. In person:
  2. Email: you may send the Accommodation Services Specialist a .pdf or .jpg
  3. Fax: a signed contract may be faxed to (510) 659-6290, but you will need to reply to follow-up correspondence or phone call to confirm your participation.

Q. Is there a special technique for taking notes?

The appearance of your notes is as important as the content. The student(s) receiving copies must be able to easily read them. You should consider the following when preparing to take notes:

  • Write legibly whether handwriting or printing.
  • Use dark ink to ensure clear copying. Consider using an erasable pen instead of pencil. Pencil marks do not always copy well.

The quality of your notes is not judged on how they look but by the content included in the notes. The following list should provide you with an idea of what is expected to be included in your notes:

At the top of each page please include:

  • Date
  • Class and instructor name
  • Chapters/topics discussed.
  • Don't be the judge of what information should or shouldn't be included in the notes. Let the student(s) be the judge. Write down as much information as possible.
  • Copy all information written on the board.

Q. You may not be a notetaker if any of the following apply to you:

  • If you have requested notetaking accommodations for the class which you volunteer to take notes
  • You are on academic probation

Q. You will not receive priority registration as a notetaker if any of the following apply to you:

    You have 100 or more lifetime units

    • You are currently qualified to receive notetaking services yourself
    • You are on academic probation
    • You have an outstanding balance on your account
    • You are a high school student

    Q. You will not receive a book voucher if any of the following apply to you:

    • You drop the class for which you are the notetaker.
    • You are inconsistent or the quality of your notes is poor and you must be replaced.
    • You do not follow the procedures and policies outlined in this handbook.

          Software for playing video files is required to view the video on this page. Apple iTunes (free) are suggested.