Notetaking Services

Disability Access Services (DAS) provides technology to help students, independently, meet their notetaking accommodation.  All eligible students may use one of the following systems.  To use these technologies effectively, it is requested of faculty to provide PowerPoint presentations in advance of the lecture.

Two other types of notetaking services are available and is dependent on the impact of the disability in physically taking notes.  

Peer-to-Peer notetaking services and real-time transcribing services requires approval from the DAS Documentation Review Team. 

Sonocent Technology

DAS is contracting with Sonocent to obtain subscriptions for students eligible for notetaking support.  Research shows that students who take good notes are more engaged in class and ultimately get better grades.  With Sonocent, students can focus on what they are hearing during the lecture, have the opportunity to highlight what the instructor identifies as important and then come back to their recording to create effective notes.  Student can also import slides and images that connects to their audio recording to create multi-media study resources. 

If electronic devices are not allowed in the classroom, please be aware that students eligible for Sonocent must use an electronic device to receive their accommodation.

Student Responsibilities

  • When selecting Sonocent, students will sign an agreement to use the Sonocent audio recordings of course lectures solely for their own educational purpose. 
  • Students also agree to not share the software access code,  make copies or release the audio recordings of course lectures to others, post to websites and/or social media, sell, or in any way hinder the instructor’s ability to obtain a copyright of this lecture content. 
  • Failure to comply with this policy may result in a hold on notetaking services and referral to OSU's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

DAS Responsibilities

  • DAS will review and approve students’ accommodation requests. 
  • If approved DAS will email the students’ faculty member a notification letter, letting them know the student has requested to use Sonocent technology to meet their notetaking accommodation.

LiveScribe SmartPen Technology

A Smartpen is a high-tech writing tool that records spoken words and synchronizes them with notes written on special paper. The Echo from Live scribe is one of the most popular smart pens.

A student can record everything an instructor says and then replay any part of it later by tapping the pen's tip to the word on the paper. Although it looks and writes like an ordinary pen, the Echo is actually a multimodal computer.

A Livescribe Smartpen is about the size and weight of a large pen (5/8" x 6 1/8"), and is equipped with a removable ball-point ink cartridge, a microphone to record audio, a speaker for playback, The pen has a small OLED display, an infra-red camera, and internal flash memory that captures handwritten notes, audio and drawings.

The user can choose to record audio in addition to the handwritten text. Recorded audio is kept indexed with the handwritten text—tapping on a written word starts playback of the recorded audio from that part of the recording.

If electronic devices are not allowed in the classroom, please be aware that students eligible for Livescribe Smartpen must use an electronic device to receive their accommodation.

Student Responsibilities

  • When selecting Livescribe Smartpens, students will sign an agreement to use the Livescribe Smartpens audio recordings of course lectures solely for their own educational purpose. 
  • Students also agree to not share the pen with other individuals to record lectures/meetings,  make copies or release the audio recordings of course lectures to others, post to websites and/or social media, sell, or in any way hinder the instructor’s ability to obtain a copyright of this lecture content. 
  • Failure to comply with this policy may result in a hold on notetaking services and referral to OSU's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

DAS Responsibilities

  • DAS will review and approve students’ accommodation requests. 
  • If approved DAS will email the students’ faculty member a notification letter, letting them know the student has requested to use Livescribe Smartpen technology to meet their notetaking accommodation.

Peer-to-peer Notetaking

Providing peer-to-peer notetaker assistance is a cooperative effort between the professor and the DAS Office.

DAS makes every effort to identify a peer-to-peer notetaker for your class before the beginning of the term. In some cases, DAS may need faculty assistance in order to recruit a peer-to-peer notetaker. We greatly appreciate your assistance in the following:

  1. Please contact us at Notetaking.Services@oregonstate.edu if you can provide the student(s) with complete lecture notes, or if the lecture notes are posted online via Canvas, so that we may inform the students. Please note: some students (due to their disability) may require a peer-to-peer notetaker in addition to the notes you provide. When this is the case, you may receive an email asking for your assistance in recruiting a peer-to-peer notetaker.
  2. If lecture notes are not available, you can assist the DAS office by identifying a student in your class who you believe would be a competent and dependable peer-to-peer notetaker. Please refer all interested students to sign up online at ds.oregonstate.edu Please note: Notetakers are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Your referral will be taken into strong consideration, but may not be assigned as the notetaker for this class if another student requests the assignment first.
  3. If you cannot recommend a student to become a peer-to-peer notetaker, please make the following announcement in class or through a Canvas announcement, not mentioning the name(s) of the student(s):
    There is a student in our class who needs a copy of the class notes. The pay for providing notes is usually $50 to $100. If you have a 2.5 GPA and take accurate, legible notes, please sign up at the DAS website, ds.oregonstate.edu.

Feel free to print the following information sheet to distribute to interested notetakers: Notetaker How-To's

Potential peer-to-peer notetakers can also come to the Disability Access Services office in Kerr Admin A200 to sign up as a Notetaker, and to receive further instructions regarding the DAS Notetaking. Occasionally, multiple students sign up as the potential Notetaker. Selection is made on a first-come, first-served basis.

If we are not successful in recruiting a notetaker, we may request a copy of faculty notes or loan Sonocent or a Livescribe Smartpen to capture the lecture.

Student Responsibilities

  • Attend class in order to receive notes, unless the absence is disability related. DAS may request verification for disability related absences.
  • Notes are for DAS students’ use only. Students are not allowed to distribute or sell the notes provided by the DAS Notetaker or faculty member.
  • Failure to comply with this policy may result in a hold on notetaking services and referral to OSU's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

DAS Responsibilities

  • DAS will review and approve students’ accommodation requests. 
  • If approved DAS will email the students’ faculty member a notification letter, letting them know the student has requested to have another student in the class (peer-to-peer) to take notes.  See above process for working with DAS to provide this accommodation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Notetaking Services at 541-737-3672 (voice) or Notetaking.Services@oregonstate.edu (email).

Real-Time Transcribing

Under certain conditions, real-time transcribing services may be needed to accommodate the student.  Real-time transcribing is a method of using specialized software to convert spoken language into text onto any device with a web browser and internet access.

If electronic devices are not allowed in the classroom, please be aware that students eligible for transcribing must use an electronic device with internet to receive their accommodation.

  • Lecture material, class comments, questions, and social interactions  among the student's peers are all transcribed.
  • The transcriber captures both the meaning and style of what is said.
  • The text from the transcriber is not "word-for word." The transcriber has been trained to condense information in order to keep up with the pace of the lecture, while retaining all essential points of the material.
  • The use of two linked computers allows the student to type questions and comments to the transcriber during class. If needed, the transcriber can then read ("voice") for the student. 
  • The transcribing process always involves a slight lag time. The student using the service will require a few additional seconds in order to respond to questions and/or participate in class discussions.
  • The student is responsible for copying the information on overheads or written on the board. It is impossible for the student to simultaneously copy the information and watch the transcribing on a computer screen. Therefore, it is very helpful to a student who is deaf/hard of hearing to receive copies of overheads used during lecture in advance.
  • Transcribers are typically added to the Learning Management System (LMS) as “observers” so that they can read posted material, become familiar with vocabulary, and prepare for the class. Instructions for this process are available at Accommodations in Canvas or the OSU Computer Helpdesk at 541-737-3474 can provide assistance if needed.
  • The transcriber must be seated towards the front of the classroom to ensure that the faculty can be easily heard.
  • The transcriber will begin to set up equipment immediately upon arrival in the classroom. If the student is absent, the transcriber occasionally might be rescheduled to a different class. In such cases, the transcriber will break down the equipment and exit the classroom as unobtrusively as possible. Otherwise, the transcriber will stay in the class and transcribe in order to remain current with the vocabulary and concepts used during the class.
  • By the end of the day of the class, the transcriber will edit out non-subject related and confidential material and will provide a copy of the transcript to the student to serve as notes for the class. Students are not permitted to share the transcript with any other person and will not receive transcripts of classes they did not attend except if the absence is documented as disability-related.
  • Students are instructed to delete all transcripts after final grades have been posted and there is no dispute regarding the grades.
  • Transcribers are required to follow the Transcriber Code of Ethics, which include an obligation to keep all assignment related information strictly confidential.
TypeWell Transcriber's Code of Ethics
  • The transcriber will keep strictly confidential all information learned during transcribing assignments.
  • The transcriber will accurately transcribe the meaning of the spoken utterances made by individuals in the class or other transcribing situation.
  • The transcriber will accurately voice comments and questions in reverse interpreting situations.
  • The transcriber will not answer student questions about class content. The transcriber will instead facilitate communication between the instructor and student/reader, by transcribing or voicing as needed.
  • The transcriber will not offer opinions or input of any kind in classes and meetings, even if invited to do so by instructors or others.
  • The transcriber will accept only those assignments for which he or she possesses appropriate skills.
  • The transcriber will strive to continually improve his or her transcribing skills.
  • The transcriber will prevent unauthorized people from using TypeWell to provide services for students and others.

For additional information, please contact the Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access Services at DHOH.Services@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3670

Updated 09/2017