Note-taking services can be a reasonable accommodation for students with permanent or temporary disabilities. Students must be registered with the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations (OAA) and approved for note-taking accommodations in order to access note-taking services. These services often involve the student receiving notes from a designated peer notetaker, but this accommodation may be provided through other arrangements. A student with a note-taking accommodation must request note-taking services for specific classes via the Accommodate portal.
Peer Note-Taking Process
Once a student has met with OAA and has been found eligible to use note-taking as an accommodation, the student must enter a service request for each course by submitting a Semester Request in the Accommodate portal.
Students should only submit Semester Requests for courses in which they will be using the accommodation. Please consider the format of the course (i.e., lecture based vs. experiential) to ensure note-taking is needed when requesting this service.
Please note that it may take 2-3 weeks from the time of the request before a notetaker is in place.
Once a note-taking request is received, OAA will reach out to the class and ask for a volunteer notetaker from the course through Accommodate. The communication goes directly to the university email accounts of students on the class roster and will not identify the student who needs the notes. All note takers and students will remain anonymous.
Students who respond with interest will be instructed to 1. Complete this Notetaker Interest Form to let us know which class you'd like to take notes for, and 2. apply for the Notetaker position on Paycom (unless they’re already hired as a notetaker). OAA will select a notetaker from those who have applied and agreed to the terms of the role.
Students who are selected as notetakers will receive a small, one-time honorarium (payment) at the end of the semester for their assistance, typically $25 per number of credits in the course (i.e. a three credit course would earn a total of $75).
Notetakers will be provided instructions on how to take notes and upload them to Accommodate. These steps are:
- Visit the Accommodate Notes Dropoff portal: https://pacificu-accommodate.symplicity.com/notesdropoff/
- Complete a login with your PUNet ID (i.e. test6789) and search for title of the course for which you are sharing notes
- Fill out the required fields and upload the file(s) and submit
- Repeat this process for any additional notes you need to submit
Notes may be in .doc, .docx, and .pdf format. Once they are uploaded, they will be immediately viewable by the students who must view these notes per their accommodations.
Pacific University Libraries have scanners on each campus that you can use. Click here to learn about how to use these scanners.
Some personal computers, tablets, and smartphones also have the ability to produce quality scans of documents, as well.
Once a peer notetaker is assigned and uploads notes, students with note-taking services can access the notes that have been uploaded by signing into the Student Accommodate portal and going to Note Taker Network and then Note Library. Scroll down to access all notes that have been uploaded, select Download PDF to access and save the notes.
It is the accommodated student’s responsibility to let OAA know in a timely manner if their note taker is not performing their duties, or if there are issues with the quality of notes submitted by the note taker. If performance is unsatisfactory, your services will be terminated. Pay will be prorated from the time the decision to terminate has been made by the Director of OAA or designee.
If a notetaker is not performing their responsibilities at a satisfactory level, OAA will begin recruiting for a new note taker for that course. If multiple volunteers responded to the initial email, OAA will contact those students first to see if they are still interested in serving as a note taker. Otherwise, OAA will reach out to the enrolled students again to see if another student may be interested. OAA may also reach out to the instructor of the course and ask for recommendations for a volunteer note taker based on good standing in the course. The new notetaker, once assigned, will be asked to submit all of their notes from the beginning of the semester.
Alternatives to Peer Note-taking
In the event that a peer notetaker cannot be found within three weeks of the request or start date of the course, whichever is later, OAA will attempt any/all of the following alternatives:
- Contact the course instructor to provide notes to the student or to recommend a student as a note taker for the course.
- Contact the student about an alternative to a peer note taker through the utilization of Note Taking Express.
- Hire a peer notetaker from outside of the class to attend the course and take notes. This option may not be appropriate for all courses, such as ones that require specialized prior understanding of the course material.
- Contact the student who requested the accommodations and see if an alternate accommodation can be put into place for that course that provides an equitable solution.
In the event one of these alternatives is necessary, OAA will provide instructions to the student about how they will receive their accommodation.