Main menu

Class Notes

Access to Class Notes

Class design and instruction are changing. Many instructors utilize technology and innovative strategies to foster learning and engagement.  Increasingly, instructors provide class notes and materials to all students, thus eliminating the need for a note-taker or individual accommodation. In the past, many students relied on note-takers to record lectures, but we are finding that other strategies may be even more effective.

Engaging with class content and activities is critical to your learning and academic success. Strategies for engagement are unique to each of us, as we all have different learning styles and preferences.  It is important that you explore and find note-taking strategies that support your individual learning.

  • We recommend that you attend class a few times to understand the design of your course and what notes and materials are provided by your instructor.  
  • Review your syllabi and explore all your online class sites (D2L/Blackboard).
  • Notes may be provided in various formats such as:
    • Word documents
    • PowerPoints slides
    • Outlines
    • Audio/video recordings of class (Panopto)

Based on their design, the following courses typically provide class notes and materials and do not necessitate an individual accommodation:

  • Science labs
  • Second language courses (ASL, SPAN, ITAL, FREN, etc.)
  • Introductory English courses

After attending class, if a barrier still exists, we encourage you to make an appointment with an Access Consultant to discuss options.

Independent Strategies:

  • Use your laptop or tablet to take notes.
  • Use a digital recorder or other recording device.
    • Consider the Livescribe Pen that allows you to record a lecture and sync your own notes to the audio recording.
  • There are lots of apps to support you in taking notes independently and developing your note-taking skills.  Learn about note-taking apps and technology here. 
  • You are welcome to work individually with instructors or classmates to make a plan to gain access to class notes. In building relationships with faculty and other students in class, you may find that you have additional resources available, such as study partners, when reviewing for exams.
  • Read here for examples of independent note-taking strategies.

Watch a Video to Learn How to Request Access to Class Notes