Volunteer Note Taker Guidelines and Training

If you have volunteered to be a note taker for an accommodated student, please read the Note Taker Responsibilities below. After reading the information, you can take the note taker training (find link below). This training will take 10-15 minutes to complete. A score of 70% or higher is needed to pass the training and become a note taker. After the training has been completed, please send a copy of the completion certificate and the completed Note Taker Agreement Form (found below) to epc@wpi.edu. Please refer to the note taker responsibilites for the correct way to take notes. If you have any questions, feel free to email epc@wpi.edu or call the EPC at 508-831-4955.

Note Taker Training

Note Taker Agreement Form


Note Taker Responsibilities

As a note taker, you are a vital link in the support services WPI is able to provide for students with disabilities. The students requesting note taking services have documented disabilities which impedes their ability to take notes in their classes. Thanks to you, classroom information is accurately recorded in a form that allows a student with disabilities to have equal access to classroom information.

Persons interested in being a note taker should email the Exam Proctoring Center at epc@wpi.edu. A $25.00 gift certificate for the Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Campus Center is available as payment for the services at the end of the term.

The following outlines procedures and requirements for note takers serving students who are associated with our office.

Daily Procedure

  1. Take notes in class using your preferred medium (lined paper, graph paper, laptop, etc.).
  2. Include on the cover sheet the course number, date, number of pages, and professor, then number each page included.
  3. Make a copy of the notes using the copier in the EPC or your own scanner.
  4. Using the copier or your scanner, email an electronic version of the notes to epc@wpi.edu.
    • Please name the file with the course number and the date. If there are scans of separate pages as separate files, please number the pages in the title, for example: “MA1022_Feb2_Pg1”


Attendance: Because your fellow student is depending on your notes, it is critical that you attend class regularly. You provide a record of the information presented during each class period. We would like to suggest that you make arrangements with a classmate to take notes for you should you miss class. Advanced preparation will benefit your fellow student immensely.

Mechanics: Write legibly. It may seem an obvious suggestion, but unfamiliar words or special terminology require a clearly written style. Also, what may be readable to you in your own handwriting may not be to a student using your notes. Be aware of legibility. Also, use complete sentences when time allows. Certain students may not be aware of certain abbreviations or can misunderstand incomplete phrases.

Do not try to cram information. Use paper freely rather than writing very small, writing down the side of a page, or writing two or three lines where space for one line is intended. Leave generous margins on your notes so that the student can add his or her own notes when reviewing later.

Spelling: Although all of us have some trouble with spelling, it is crucial that a note taker pay particular attention to this area. If you are unsure of a spelling, a "SP?'' above the word signals the student of his or her need to check the spelling later. If a term is recurrent throughout the course or lecture it is wise to consult the textbook for correct spelling. The instructor will probably not mind a brief question as to the spelling of a new or unfamiliar term. If you don't know the spelling, chances are many others in the class don't know either. Your question will be helpful to many.

Format: It is important that you list the course name, number, and date at the top of the notes for each class session. The student using a note taker probably has several other note takers in other classes. It can be a problem organizing notes from several classes without a course name, number or date. If your notes require more than one page, it is also important to number each page.

Inclusion of chapter number or pages being discussed is also extremely beneficial. Underline all new terms, star important points and include notes from the instructor such as ''must know this for the test.''

Meticulously record all announcements, assignments, test dates, due dates, references, and other crucial information.

Content: One of the greatest errors a note taker makes is deletion of information. Often a note taker will not record a point the instructor is making because the note taker him/herself does not see it as new information. It is most important that you do not assume your fellow student has the same information you do.

If the instructor discusses it, write it down even though it may seem obvious or redundant to you. If the instructor makes a point and then uses several examples, be sure to record the examples. These will help the student clarify the point and remember the lecture.

If taking notes in math, it is necessary to copy problems and the exact steps used in completing the problem. Showing all computation work and every step in the sequence ensures your fellow student of the ability to practice similar problems at another time. Be sure to copy at least one example of each type of problem the instructor demonstrates and show all work.

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page