Peer note-taking is a common resource used by students registered with Accessibility Services. This service runs through the support of thousands of student volunteers every year. Volunteers share their own lecture notes from their classes anonymously through a special online portal with fellow students registered with Accessibility Services.
This service is not meant to replace in-person class attendance or students taking their own notes. It is a complementary service to supplement a student’s own note-taking during a lecture. If you feel you may benefit from peer note-taking, please speak with your accessibility advisor to discuss this and other resources to help develop and strengthen your note-taking skills.
During the 2020/2021 academic year, 1,747 volunteers uploaded 23,185 notes for 3,440 courses.
Accessing class notes
It is the student’s responsibility to register for peer note-taking support on the Accessibility Services student portal. We request that students register for every course at the start of the term. Please note that this does not occur automatically. We also may not be able to facilitate note sharing for weeks of class that have already occurred if you are signing up after the first day of class.
Students registered with Accessibility Services and approved to receive class notes under the Volunteer Note-taking program through the Note-taking Portal.
To request notes, please follow these instructions and our guide on how to register for peer notes (PDF).
- Visit our Note-taking Portal to register for volunteer note-taking in each course you are requesting notes. We recommend you do this at the beginning of each course or as soon as you register with Accessibility Services. Please note that we will not be able to provide note-taking support retroactively once a course has ended. The later in the course a request is made, the more challenging it can be to obtain notes.
- This process initiates an automatic, anonymous email to professors/course instructors. It requests that they make an in-class/Quercus announcement to recruit volunteer note-takers.
- Please ensure to download your notes from the Note-taking Portal regularly throughout the course.
What if notes are not available or there are problems with the notes?
If after making a request, notes are not available or uploaded within two weeks of registering on the portal, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org so we may assist you. We can reach out to request another announcement be made in your class or remind a note-taker to continue uploading notes if they have stopped appearing on the portal.
We strongly suggest that notes are downloaded by students from the Notetaking Portal regularly/weekly. Frequently downloading and reviewing the course notes from volunteer note-takers allows students to better identify issues or concerns early (e.g. quality of the notes, notes not being uploaded on time) and inform our office so that they can be addressed for the remainder of the course.
As this service runs with the support of student volunteers, we are not always able to ensure coverage for every course or for the duration of a course. Please discuss any concerns about classes that do not have volunteer note-taker coverage with your accessibility advisor very early in the term so that alternative options can be considered in place of this resource as soon as possible.
Additional support for developing note-taking skills
We also strongly encourage all students to build and strengthen their note-taking skills throughout their degree by attending workshops at Accessibility Services, Academic Success or by working with a learning strategist.
If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate volunteer notes with your own notes, please read our guide: Using volunteer notes (PDF).