Notetaking Service

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If you are reading this page to get information to become a volunteer notetaker please sign up here.

Important Notes

  • Many instructors provide comprehensive notes to the class through Avenue 2 Learn or some other course management portal. It is your responsibility to know whether class notes are posted by your instructor, therefore accessing the SAS volunteer Notetaking Service would be unnecessary.
  • In courses where class is podcasted, notes should not be necessary.
  • You should be accessing the lecture podcasts composing your own notes in the process.
  • Only where composing notes from a podcasted lecture is not possible because of the nature of your disability might access to class notes be considered. In these situations, you should consult your SAS Program Coordinator.
  • If you select a request for a notetaker in a course where your instructor provides notes, or your class is podcasted, the SAS system will automatically send emails to your instructor to recruit a volunteer notetaker (which is unnecessary and a nuisance).
  • When selecting courses for a volunteer notetaker, please be sure not to select the courses where instructor notes are available.
  • If you are accessing the volunteer Notetaking Service, you as the student have agreed to the following:
    • Notes provided by the volunteer Notetaking Service cannot be guaranteed for all courses.
    • Quality and accuracy of notes cannot be guaranteed, however, it is recommended that volunteer notes be shared with instructors from time-to-time for comment on completeness and accuracy.
    • Volunteer notes are intended to supplement your own notes, not replace them.
    • Volunteer notes are not intended to replace attendance at class.

Seeking a Notetaker

Important Notes

  • The information in the following section is provided for students who are looking for someone to take notes for them.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties logging on, try accessing our website using Google Chrome or Firefox.

Requesting a Notetaker:

  1. Discuss with your Program Coordinator about needing a notetaker for your courses.
  2. Once arranged, you must activate your request each term by selecting “Student Log-In“, then selecting from the menu “Course Notes”, logging in with your Mac ID and password and following the instructions from there.

How We Recruit Notetakers

  • If in-class announcements are not successful in recruiting notetakers:
    • Please email the Notetaking Coordinator at sasnotes@mcmaster.ca.
    • The Notetaking Coordinator can send a direct email, regarding the opportunity to volunteer, to all students registered in the course.
    • If you would like this to be done for your course, please follow the following instructions on sending a class list:
      1. Log into Avenue to Learn.
      2. Select “Communication”.
      3. Select “Class List”.
      4. Select “200 per page”.
      5. Select and copy Usernames (McMaster IDs). The Names/Roles columns might copy as well, and this is not a problem.
      6. Paste the class list into a Word Document.
      7. Email to the Notetaking Coordinator (sasnotes@mcmaster.ca) with the subject “CLASS LIST: Course XXXX”.
  • Your name will not be disclosed by the Notetaking Coordinator or by your Instructor.
  • You can also ask your instructor if he or she can provide you with lecture notes as an alternative to accessing a volunteer notetaker.
  • Please be advised: Notes are not always guaranteed, but we do everything we can to try to find you a notetaker!

Important Information If You Are Seeking a Notetaker

  • You may request a notetaker for as many courses as you need.
  • Your information is confidential. Notetakers will not know who is accessing their notes. You do not have to disclose any information regarding your disability to your notetaker in order to access your notes.
  • Notetakers are encouraged to upload their notes as quickly as possible after the lecture. They are given a window of 48 hours following the lecture to upload the notes for you.
  • If you would like to connect with your notetaker regarding notes, please contact the Notetaking Coordinator at sasnotes@mcmaster.ca.

Technical Tips

  • If you look for notes but find that there is no notetaker assigned for one of your courses, you may try one or more of the following steps:
    • Ask your instructor if they can provide you with lecture notes as an alternative to accessing a volunteer notetaker.
    • Suggest to your instructors that perhaps they can make an announcement in class indicating that a notetaker is required, the Notetaking Coordinator can also do this on your behalf.
    • Email the Notetaking Coordinator at sasnotes@mcmaster.ca to ask them to help you recruit a notetaker.
    • If you feel comfortable, take an active role by asking someone in your class to take notes and encourage them to go online to sign up to be a notetaker through the SAS website.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the notes that your notetaker has provided, you can recruit a new notetaker by following the same steps listed above.
  • Notes are typically uploaded in the form of a Microsoft Word document (.doc) or as a PDF. For some classes (such as math or engineering), hand written notes are also accepted. These documents will be scanned and uploaded by the notetaker.
  • If you require notes in other formats (other than written) you should make an appointment with your SAS Program Coordinator who may assist you in finding appropriate assistive technologies or other means of accessing notes.

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Academic Tips for Notetaking


Last Updated: October 31 2019