Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Notetaking support options

Accessible Ed & Disability Resources offers support to students who are eligible for a Note Support accommodation.  Below are a variety of options to fit different learning needs and course formats.  If you have any questions, please reach out by emailing notetaking@pcc.edu.

There are a variety of approaches that can help to support notetaking, and it can be helpful to think about them in terms of the class modality. This handout provides a quick summary for different types of classes.

Instructor’s Study Support Materials

  • Many instructors provide lecture notes, presentation materials, and other resources for the entire class. These materials are often provided through the course D2L shell.
  • You can also ask your instructor if they have materials they could share, or if there are related resources available through their department or via online sites.

Recordings Created by Instructors

  • Recordings by instructors can be a great support for notetaking because you can rewind and review the presentations as often as you like.
  • Most courses being taught remotely are recorded and the links are available from the course D2L shell.
  • Here is a quick video tutorial showing how to find the Zoom Recordings  and Transcripts

Student Recordings & Equipment Loans

  • Students can create audio recordings even if the instructor is not already recording.
  • Recordings can be created using devices such as LiveScribe pens, digital recorders, laptops, chromebooks, smart phones, or tablets, and if students don’t have a device of their own to use, PCC makes loans available.
  • If you will be using a device to record class sessions as a notetaking strategy, you may also want to contact your AEDR practitioner to add “Technology Use” to your Faculty Notification.  This alerts your instructor that you will be using technology in class for notetaking.
  • Students are allowed to record class sessions for their own educational use as per the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Contact our Access Tech Team at access-tech-group@pcc.edu or 971.722.8324 for training and support.

Student Accounts for Otter.ai

  • Recordings can also be created using apps such as Otter.ai.
  • If you would like an account for an app that will record the audio and produce an editable transcript, please use the Sign Up sheet in AIM.
  • These types of accounts can also be used for dictation, and processing other kinds of audio such as podcasts into a transcript. 
  • If you will be using an Otter account to record class sessions as a notetaking strategy, you may also want to contact your AEDR practitioner to add “Technology Use” to your Faculty Notification.  This alerts your instructor that you will be using technology in class for notetaking.
  • Contact our Access Tech Team at access-tech-group@pcc.edu or 971.722.8324 for training and support.

Student Accounts for Notetaking Express (NTE)

  • If you need written summaries of live class presentations, you can be given an account with a company that produces this type of notes from class recordings. 
  • You are responsible for using the class Zoom recordings or making your own recordings from a device (your personal device or one borrowed from PCC).
  • If you would like an account that will allow you to upload recordings and receive written notes back, please use the Sign Up sheet in AIM.
  • Contact our Access Tech Team at access-tech-group@pcc.edu or 971.722.8324 for training and support.

Read&Write Software

  • Read&Write is a full software suite that assists with reading, writing, studying, and research.  It is available at no cost to all PCC students, faculty, and staff.
  • There are tools that can be used with class transcripts or other materials, such as tools to highlight and extract vocabulary with definitions.
  • There is an online tour of all the features, or you can contact our Access Tech Team at access-tech-group@pcc.edu or 971.722.8324 for training and support.    

Classmate’s Notes

  • Classmates are a great source for note support since they have read the same material and they want good notes to study for tests. A study group creates social interaction and teamwork with your peers.  You may know a classmate who can share notes or your instructor may be able to connect you with other students. 
  • We are happy to write a Letter of Appreciation, provide USB drives, or help arrange for copies for students who are sharing their notes with peers. If you have questions, reach out to notetaking@pcc.edu.

One-Time Requests

  • All students who are eligible for Note Support accommodations may use this additional service when needed. It is for the infrequent times when disability-related symptoms flare unexpectedly and extra support is needed.  If the class session has been recorded, we can provide a written summary of the presentation for these occasional times.
  • Please use this One-Time Notes Request Form

Promoting Access for All

Many people benefit from notes and there are some things that instructors or meeting facilitators might want to consider that could be considered a Universal Design approach. These strategies tend to benefit many (not just those who already have accommodation eligibility.

For example, instructors or facilitators might want to:

  • Share agenda and presentation materials in advance – this way participants can review (whether in advance or after the fact).
  • Assign a notetaker – or multiple notetakers – who can take notes during the meeting and share their notes with everyone.
  • Record the session – so people have the chance to review and take notes as needed.