Guidelines for Note Takers
Your willingness to offer copies of your lecture notes to a classmate is appreciated by both the student who benefits from your effort and the staff of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at MSU...Thank You!
Note Taking Policies:
- You must be registered in the class that you are signing up to take notes for
- Take clear and concise notes during class. Please try to incorporate the suggestions from the Top 14 Notetaking Tips
- Submit your typed notes in Word or PDF format within 24 hours of your scheduled class via BOX. If you are unable to submit your notes in this format please discuss other options with ODS staff.
- Notes must be typed unless other arrangements are agreed upon
- Both the class abbreviation and date must be included with each note submission. Please title the notes file by class abbreviation, number, and date. Ex. "ABC 101 1/01/20".
- If no notes were necessary due to class being cancelled, exams, etc., please send ODS an email with this information.
- If you are absent from class, please try to get notes from another classmate and submit them as soon as possible.
- If at any point you are dropping the course, please notify ODS as soon as possible so a new notetaker can be hired.
Note Taking Tutorial (Required)
ODS note takers are required to take a note taking tutorial upon hire.
When you are completed the tutorial, please email a simple confirmation
Tips for Good Notetaking
As a notetaker, you are responsible for providing class notes to a student with a disability. This means that if you are unable to attend a class session, you must obtain a copy of the class notes for the student. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you find a back-up notetaker in the class that you can call in case you can't be in class to provide notes for the student.
- Be on time. Many professors give important information during the first five or ten minutes of the class.
- Ask for feedback. Talk with the Office of Disability Staff about the quality of your notes.
- Be unbiased. Don't interject your opinions in the notes.
- Place the course title, an the date at the top of the page.
- Clarify each page with a number and title.
- Write legibly. If this is the agreed upon method.
- Leave blanks if you are unsure, or miss something the instructor says. Fill it in later and ask the instructor for clarification. If you are not sure of the spelling, write "sp?" above it and correct it later if possible. Note the important technical terms that may show up on an exam.
- Use white space effectively. If you space out the main ideas, the student will be able to process the notes more effectively.
- Make points for emphasis. Underline important words and phrases or use any marks such as asterisks, stars, circles, etc.
- Use examples given by instructor. Include diagrams and illustrations given on the whiteboard or on charts brought in by the instructor. Be sure to indicate where the information was obtained.
- Organize the information in the best way for the student and yourself.
- Include as much as possible. If there is class participation, try to summarize the discussion in your notes.
- Use abbreviations only if the student is familiar with them. If the instructor has already given the meaning of abbreviations.
- Rework the notes later. Leave margin space as you are taking notes so that you may make additions or clarifications later.