Disability Resource Center

Note Taking

Methods to Assist With Note Taking

The specific method of note taking assistance provided depends on the individual course design and the specific needs of the student.

Use of Technology to Assist with Note Taking

Technology is a great support for the note taking process. Often, students use their laptops, tablets or a portable Braille device to take notes. In addition, the DRC has smartpen technology available to loan for student use in classes.

Tape Recording Lectures

In certain cases, this may be an appropriate alternative to other note taking assistance methods. This alternative should be discussed with the student and the DRC prior to implementation.

Faculty Notes

Faculty may provide copies of the course slides or study guides to facilitate note taking. Often the faculty may provide this access to the entire class. In other cases, these may be shared exclusively with the student requesting note taking assistance.

Alternating Note Taker

As a part of the course participation grade, faculty can assign a new student each day, with the exception of the student requesting the note taking accommodation, to be the note taker. With this method, the accommodation request can be satisfied in a couple of ways: 1. After each course, the assigned note taker would take a copy of their course notes to the DRC to be copied for the student requesting the note taking accommodation; or 2. After each course, the assigned note taker would type their notes and post them on the Western Online discussion board for the entire class (Universal Design Method).

Group Note Taking

This method of satisfying the note taking accommodation request was submitted by Rachel Smith, RPTA Faculty and Faculty Innovator, and is an example of Universal Design in the classroom. As a part of the course design, students are assigned to note taking groups. Each group is a assigned to take notes on a certain day(s) or week(s). Within those groups, students decide who will be the primary note taker(s). After class, the students get together in their group to create a final draft of the notes to be posted on the Western Online discussion board. As a part of class participation, students are encourage to comment on the notes. The faculty member can monitor and lead the discussion, as needed.

Graduate Student Note Taker

Faculty may choose to have a graduate assistant sit in on the course and take notes to share with students requesting the note-taking accommodation.

Volunteer Note Taker

Your instructor may choose to facilitate note taking assistance via a student volunteer system. Instructors using this method will make an announcement that a volunteer is needed to share a copy of her/his notes. Volunteers who respond to instructors’ announcements are directed to DRC. DRC will make a copy of the notes and keep them in a file for the student. Students utilizing this service remain anonymous unless they wish to self-identify to the volunteer note taker. DRC employs a graduate assistant who works with faculty and the student to coordinate note taking assistance.

Carbonless Notebooks

DRC has carbonless notebooks available to note takers who would prefer to give copies of notes to the instructor or the student immediately after class.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00am to 4:30pm

Contact Info

Disability Resource Center
Memorial Hall 143
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455

Email: disability@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-2512
Fax: (309) 298-2361