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Peer Notetaker

A peer notetaker supplements a student's own notetaking and allows them to fill in information they miss. For example, a student may not be able to hear you clearly, may lose focus, or may not be able to use their hands for extended periods.

Accessing a peer's lecture notes is an extension of the student in the same way as audio recordings. A CAL advisor assigned the accommodation because of barriers in the environment due to the functional impacts of a disability or chronic health condition.

Most students request a volunteer peer notetaker in the way described below. However, students can also use CAL’s Full-Serve Notetaking Program. The program charges a fee to hire and manage a notetaker from the class, and confidentially exchange notes.

The student's responsibilities

The student must contact you if they want a volunteer notetaker. You do not need to act until the student contacts you.

The student is responsible for contacting volunteer notetakers that you identify.

The student must collect the notes. You are not responsible for the exchange of notes.

The student must not share the notes. The notes are only for their personal use.

The student does not need to destroy the notes.

Your responsibilities

Make a reasonable effort to find a volunteer notetaker if the student requests one. Common methods include an in-person announcement, a class-wide email, and a Brightspace post. The message could be "A student with a disability- or chronic health-related accommodation has requested a volunteer notetaker. You would provide a digital copy of your notes or allow the student to create a paper copy. Send me your preferred contact information if you're interested and I will send it to the student."

Make the volunteers' contact information available to the student.

Do not identify the student to the class or to the volunteers. Academic accommodations are confidential. The student may choose to identify themselves to the volunteers.

How to help

  • Ask your students at the start of the course if they are interested in sharing lecture notes with other students. You will have a list ready if a student requests a peer notetaker later in the course.
  • Share your slides or notes with the class.
  • Record your lectures so students can replay anything they miss in class.