Recording Lectures for Technology-Assisted Notetaking

Students who experience disability-related barriers taking notes may be approved for a variety of accommodations to mitigate those barriers. If you are approved to record lectures as a reasonable accommodation, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with applicable policies and tips for getting the most out of your recordings.


Before recording lectures, ensure that your instructor has received your notification letters indicating “permission to record lectures” as an accommodation.

In order to record lectures and related class activities as an accommodation, students are required to review and sign the following agreement in AEC Connect:

  • The recordings or transcriptions will be used for my personal studies only.
  • I will not release, post, share, sell, or otherwise make available the recordings/transcriptions in any format to any other persons.
  • If other students or speakers are sharing personal information that would be inappropriate to record, I will be prepared to pause the recording occasionally upon request.
  • I will not publish or quote information contained in the recordings/transcriptions without express written consent of the speaker.
  • I understand that a violation of this agreement may result in discipline through the student conduct process and/or liability under copyright laws.

Best Practices for Lectures

  • Seating: Sit near the front of the class, close to the instructor. Try to avoid being near background noises such as projectors and students who are typing.
  • Active Participation: It is important that students take an active part in class and use recordings to clarify material or catch any missed information.
  • Include Images: Include pictures and lecture slides alongside your recordings when possible.
  • Review Recordings: The best time to review recordings (and notes) is within 24 hours of the lecture. Add to your notes and pause to reflect on material.

Improving Quality of Recordings

  • Try it out: Practice with your voice to see the distance you will need to be from the lecturer, include some background noise if possible.
  • Mobile phones: Prop up phones for better sound quality. Placing a recording device on a soft surface, instead of directly on the desk, can also help improve sound.
  • External microphones: Directional microphones can help ensure audio files are clear and focused on the instructor.
  • Adjustments: Most audio notetaking programs and computers have built-in options to improve quality of recordings.
  • Airplane mode: Avoid distractions and disruptions and save on battery life. If using a mobile phone, try putting it in airplane mode.
  • 3-D recording headphones: Designed to capture sound like you actually hear it, these headphones have built in microphones on the earpieces but can be worn over your shoulders.