Become a Volunteer Notetaker

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  1. Becoming a Volunteer Notetaker
  2. Taking Effective Notes
  3. Acceptable Note Formats

Becoming a Volunteer Notetaker

SAS provides a volunteer notetaker service in support of students with disabilities. We seek volunteers for courses from undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. More information about volunteer notetaking is below and available after you login to volunteer.

  • The information in the following section is provided for students who are notetakers who have been assigned to take notes for others.
  • Uploading just a slideshow is NOT an acceptable note format.
  • Slideshows alone will not count as notes.
  • This service is voluntary.
  • Upon request, a letter of reference as a notetaker can be provided. Please email sasnotes@mcmaster.ca for more information.
  • As a volunteer notetaker you are committing to being available and taking notes for the entirety of the course.
  • If for some reason you are unable to attend a class, it is your responsibility to find a substitute notetaker for that missed class.
  • As a volunteer notetaker, you will be asked to upload sample notes for viewing. If no sample notes are present it is unlikely you will be selected as a notetaker, and you will not be eligible for a letter of reference.
  • As part of the overall volunteer notetaking process, you will be asked to provide a set of sample notes for every course you select to offer notes.
  • Typically sample notes are the first three lectures, or textbook notes, anything that will give students a glimpse of the style of your notes.
  • Sample notes are critically important for students when selecting a preferred notetaker.
  • Using Google Chrome or FireFox as your web browser will provide the best option for logging into the system to sign up as a volunteer.
  • To sign-up as a volunteer notetaker, select “Volunteer Notetakers” from the Student Login page to begin the process.

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Taking Effective Notes

  • As a volunteer notetaker the ability to take effective notes can be of significant benefit to you as a notetaker for your own learning in addition to being of benefit to a student accessing your notes.

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Acceptable Note Formats

  • While notes do no need to be typed, it is the preferred format whenever possible.
  • For courses that involve diagrams, formulas, maps, etc. (e.g. Math and Engineering courses):
    • Hand written notes can be scanned and uploaded.
    • If you need help with scanning your notes, please contact us at sasnotes@mcmaster.ca.
    • 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 legible.
  • Number pages.
  • Include Lecture/Chapter #.
  • Underline titles.
  • Include dates in the file name or in the document.
  • Ensure all notes are saved in an accessible .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).
  • Ensure that uploaded files correspond to the date of the lecture. If you accidentally upload your notes to the wrong date, please contact sasnotes@mcmaster.ca and let them know, so the date can be changed.

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Last Updated: September 8, 2019