Notetaking and Transcription

Hand taking notes with a pencil on a notebookStudents experience barriers when taking notes for a variety of reasons. There are several relatively simple means that are widely used to accommodate notetaking needs, such as the use of recording devices. These are very effective tools and in many cases are preferable to more traditional notetaking support. In cases where the available technology and resources are not effective or desired, volunteer notetakers, computer-based notetakers, or TypeWell transcription services are considered. Please schedule an appointment with an AEC advisor to discuss possible resources.

Notetaking Resources

Digital Recorder or Livescribe™ Smartpen

Livescribe pen and computer

A digital recorder can be used to record lectures and classroom discussions that you can use to refer to later. A smartpen records audio and copies a visual image of your written notes. The audio and visual notes are synced together and saved to a computer for convenient playback of the lecture. If you are approved for the use of a digital recorder or a smartpen, please contact your AEC advisor to discuss further details about borrowing either device. We also encourage students to have access to their own personal smart pen that can be used after graduation, and students can request partial funding if they wish to purchase their own personal smartpen.

To learn more about using a Smartpen, visit the LiveScribe site.

Visit LiveScribe to print out "Dot Paper".

For best results we recommend you use a color, LaserJet printer with an Adobe PostScript driver that can print at 600 DPI. The Paper Size should be set to "Letter (8 ½ x 11 in)".  Try printing a test page to ensure your printer will work.  

Before printing, be sure the Size Option is set to "Actual Size" or the equivalent such as "Page Scaling: None" (not "Scale to fit", "Fit", or "% of actual size"). 

Peer Notetaker

A peer notetaker is a student enrolled in the class who receives compensation for sharing their notes. After you have established notetaking accommodations with an AEC advisor, follow these steps to request notetaking services:

  1. Log in to AEC Connect to request accommodations for each of your classes. Select “Notetaking Services” for each class for which you’d like to receive notes.
  2. After you’ve attended each class at least once, check your email address for an email from AEC asking you to confirm your notetaking request.
  3. AEC will work with your instructor to recruit a peer notetaker from the class.
  4. After a notetaker has been recruited and begins to upload notes, you will receive an email stating that notes are available to download from AEC Connect.
    • To download your notes, log in to AEC Connect and click “Notetaking Services” on the left side of the page under “My Accommodations”. Then click “Available Note(s) for Download (Click to Expand)”.

Recruiting a peer notetaker is a collaborative process between AEC, the instructor, and the student. If you know someone in your class who takes comprehensive notes and may be interested in being a peer notetaker, please encourage them to sign up through our website. While AEC and your instructor continue the notetaker recruitment process, you are welcome to discuss additional options (such as recording lectures) with your AEC advisor. Once a peer notetaker has been identified and assigned, it is the student's responsibility to notify AEC immediately if issues arise--such as inadequate, inaccessible, or inconsistently uploaded notes. 

Computer-Based Notetaking

Computer-based notetaking and TypeWell transcription request procedure

Computer-based notetaking may be used when a student needs a different level of support than volunteer notetaking or a smartpen can provide. This involves a student employee who is not registered in the class who provides detailed notes according to the preferences of the student. An online notetaking service may also be used by the AEC to provide computer-based notetaking services. This involves the student recording lectures and uploading the audio files to the notetaking service. Notes are emailed back to students within 24 hours.

TypeWell transcription is most commonly provided for students who are deaf/hard of hearing to provide access to what is being said in real-time. The TypeWell process involves a transcriber using the TypeWell software to create a running, real-time transcript that is wirelessly transmitted to a laptop the student uses to read what is being said in class. This is accomplished either by a live transcriber or by connecting to a remote TypeWell provider. If you are approved for computer-based notetaking or TypeWell transcription services, please see the policies below.

Meet with an AEC advisor to establish which type of notetaking/transcription support best accommodates your needs. Once approved, submit your notetaking request as soon as you register for classes and no later than the last day of initial registration by emailing When making requests, please include the following information for each class/discussion:

COURSE: [for example, MATH 101]
DAY(S)/TIME: [for example, TR 12:00–12:50]
LOCATION: [for example, PLC 180]

If your notetaking request is made in a timely manner, you can expect to receive an introduction email from your notetaker by the Sunday before the start of term. Please notify us immediately of any changes that occur to your initial request (add/drop, location change, cancellations, etc.).

For more information, contact

Make an Appointment with AEC