Faculty Notetaking Guidance

Notetaking support is provided for students whose documentation indicates that the disability may likely impact their ability to take comprehensive notes in class. Notetaking support is generally considered a supplement to a student’s own notes, however, situations can exist where the student is physically unable to take their own notes. It is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation/attendance.

Students who qualify for notetaking support may recruit their own note-taker, but they are not required to do so.  Many students prefer that faculty make an announcement verbally or via email or Canvas messages. If faculty have concerns about a student with significant unexcused or unexplained absences receiving peer notes, they are asked to contact DSS.

The need/approval for peer notetaking support may also depend on the nature of content delivery. Peer notes are generally to supplement notetaking ability for content delivered via live lectures (in-person or online). Faculty posting highly detailed lecture notes, narrated or detailed PowerPoints, etc. to Canvas may negate the need for notes from a peer notetaker.  If course content is delivered via online asynchronous written (documents, PowerPoint, etc.) content, then peer notes may be inappropriate.  If online delivery includes recorded asynchronous content, and most students have the ability to pause, stop or re-watch, then peer notes may be unnecessary. Students may request (as an accommodation) access to audio recordings from online synchronous classes (such as done through Zoom or Canvas Conferences) to supplement their notetaking needs.

If a student is approved for notetaking support, and the faculty and student verify that this is a need for a given course, DSS requests faculty assistance:

  • Faculty may choose to approach a specific student if they already have reason to believe the student would be good choice (previously taught student, etc.) Otherwise, faculty are strongly encouraged to use the following announcement: “We have a need for a notetaker in this class. If you feel that you take good notes and would be willing to scan your notes to Disability Support Services for use by another student, please contact DSS immediately by email or phone (DSS@montevallo.eduor 205-665-6250). Selected notetakers will be expected to scan and email notes after each class, and they are paid a small stipend in exchange for those notes at the end of the semester.”
  • This announcement may be made verbally in class, emailed or sent to the class via Canvas.
  • Do not identify the student requesting notetaking support when making the announcement to the class, or to the selected notetaker. This is an inappropriate disclosure of confidential information.
  • Based upon the student need, notes will either be scanned and emailed or typed and emailed to DSS. DSS will then forward to the appropriate student(s).
  • Notetakers will be paid a small stipend at the end of the semester. Amounts vary depending on credit hours and students who are asked by DSS for typed notes are paid more for those notes.