Notetaking Service

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  1. Volunteer as a Notetaker for Others
  2. Registering as a Notetaker
  3. Acceptable Note Formats
  4. Important Information For You As A Notetaker
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteer as a Notetaker for Others

*Note: The information in the following section is provided for students who are notetakers who have been assigned to take notes for others.

Registering as a Notetaker:

  • If you are interested in becoming a notetaker, the following steps will help you get started on our website.
  • On SAS’s Homepage (, at the top where all of the tabs are located, please select “Student Log-In” to sign up.
  • Upon selecting “Student Log-In“, you will be taken to the Online Student Services page; select the “Notetakers” link.
  • This will take you to a “Help” tab with frequent issues and solutions.
  • To continue to the registration process, select the “Courses/Notes” tab at the top left hand corner of the screen.
  • Use your McMaster ID and password to sign in.
  • You will be taken to a page to fill in some contact information, to accept a Confidentiality Agreement, as well as to select the courses you would like to be a notetaker for.
  • You can be a notetaker for any number of courses you are enrolled in.

Screenshot of SAS homepage and online student services screen


Screenshot of volunteer note taker profile page

  • The system will then prompt you to upload sample notes.
  • A little bit about sample notes:
    • You are limited to 3 sample notes (documents) at first when registering.
    • Typically these 3 notes are the first 3 lectures, or textbook notes, anything that will give students a glimpse of the style of your notes.
    • After you upload sample notes, you can log out and wait until a student selects you as a notetaker.
    • You will receive an email from Student Accessibility Services notifying you of your selection to be a notetaker. You will be prompted to return to the site and upload your lecture notes on a regular basis.
    • After selection, you can upload as many notes as needed to the website; there is no longer a limit of 3 notes.
  • Follow the same steps you did to register as a notetaker in order to enter the notetaking site.
  • Once logged in, click on the ‘Upload Notes” link beside the course name that you are uploading notes for. You will be directed how to upload your notes.
  • You can contact us regarding any notetaking issues by selecting the “Submit a Comment” tab located at the top.

*Note: If you are experiencing difficulties logging on, try accessing our website using Google Chrome or Firefox.

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Acceptable Note Formats:

  • While notes do no need to be typed, it is preferred that they be typed whenever possible.
  • For courses that involve diagrams, formulas, maps, etc. (i.e. Math and Engineering courses):
    • Scanned and hand written notes are accepted.
    • If you need further help with scanning your notes, please contact us at
    • Limit the use of colour in your notes. Written notes with colour and highlights often do not translate clearly when they are scanned.
    • Ensure notes are clear and legible.
  • Number pages.
  • Include Lecture/Chapter #.
  • Underline titles.
  • Include dates in the file name or in the document.
  • Ensure all notes are saved in .PDF or .doc format.
  • Please submit each lecture’s notes as a separate file (i.e. if you have class on Monday and Wednesday each week, you should have 2 separate files each week).
  • Please ensure that these files are uploaded with the corresponding date of the lecture. If you accidentally upload your notes to the wrong date, please contact and let them know, so the date can be changed.

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Important Information For You As A Notetaker

  • Please be advised that notetaking is done on a voluntary basis. As such, you will not be paid for your notes. However, you may request a letter for reference from SAS at the end of the semester. If you wish to collect your reference letter, please email the Notetaking Coordinator at
  • In your email include:
    • The course you were a notetaker for
    • The term (i.e. Winter 2016)
    • How you would like you reference letter:
      • Scanned and emailed
      • Picked up at the SAS office
      • Mailed (if mailed, please provide mailing address)
  • SAS will only provide reference letters (i.e. no forms or reference contact info)
  • Many notetakers prefer to take notes on their computers; however, some instructors prefer that students do not use computer in the classroom. If this situation occurs, speak with the instructor of the class and explain that you are a volunteer notetaker with SAS and are taking notes for students with disabilities. If the instructor has further concerns, please direct them to contact SAS directly, and we will advise the instructor on any concerns they may have.
  • Please be advised, that once you commit to being a notetaker, it is an expectation that you fulfill your commitment for the duration of the academic term.
  • If for some reason you have to miss a class, please make every attempt to get notes from someone else and then upload those to the site as soon as you can. Please remember that the student(s) relies on you to be present at all lectures, tutorials, labs, and review sessions in order to provide clear and complete notes.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  1. How soon should I upload my notes to the website after lecture?
    • You are instructed to upload your notes within 48 hours of a lecture.
  2. How many courses can I be a notetaker for?
    • There is no limit to the number of courses you can be a notetaker for. Some volunteers only choose one of their courses; others might do all.
  3. Is this service confidential?
    • Yes. Your identity will not be disclosed to your student(s).
  4. Whom can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
    • Email the Notetaking Coordinator at Please allow at least 2 full business days for a response.

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Online Services Outage July 18th

Online services including: Schedule an in-class test, mid-term or quiz; Book an Appointment; Course Notes etc.; unavailable between 2:15pm and 4pm on Thursday July 18th.

New SAS Site

SAS will be launching a redesigned website by the end of the summer.

Crisis Resources

Are you in crisis? You don’t have to deal with it alone—there are people here that can help.