Last update: September 25, 2019

Notetakers provide a valuable academic service by creating clear and detailed class notes for students with disabilities at UBC, ensuring all students have equal access to lecture material. The students who benefit from the service of notetakers have a documented need for assistance and have met eligibility criteria determined by a Centre for Accessibility advisor. View the Student Assistants job descriptions for more details about the role of a notetaker.

If you have any questions concerning notetaking services, including payment, please contact the Centre for Accessibility Student Assistant Coordinator at access.assistants@ubc.ca or 604.822.9689.

Becoming a notetaker

  1. Review the job description. Find out if notetaking is for you. Notetaker job description.
  2. You will be emailed if there is a need for a notetaker in your class and asked to apply via UBC Careers Online. Information on documentation and eligibility is available on our How to Apply page.
  3. Provide your notes. Make sure you are taking and submitting your notes properly.
  4. Set up your payment. Manage your pay details.

For more information, check out our frequently asked questions below.

Benefits

Notetakers can also benefit from the assistance they provide. As a notetaker you may experience an improvement in your grades, develop valuable skills, and you will receive a reference letter. Notetakers are also paid a set stipend in recognition of the valuable service they provide.

Taking and submitting notes

Note quality

Notes can be typed or handwritten as long as they are legible and neat. Notes must be emailed to your client within 48 hours. https://www.auth.cwl.ubc.ca/auth/login?serviceName=psssloginYour notes must be useful to both  you and your client. This may require you to change your note taking style. Check out our notetaker training for full details on how to take notes.

Format

It is not mandatory for you to provide typed notes unless requested by the Student Assistant Coordinator. In some cases clients are only able to access typed notes; you will be informed if this is required.

Email guidelines

  1. Prepare your notes for email. Handwritten notes must be scanned at high quality and attached in full. You can use the photocopier/scanner at Crane Library or a high quality home-scanner. Please check all notes are complete before attaching them.
  2. Include a clear subject line. Indicate the class and the date notes were taken (eg. Subject: Math 200, 003 Sept 12, 2013).
  3. Maintain confidentiality. If you are emailing to more than one student, maintain confidentiality by either including student details in the BCC field or by sending each email separately.
  4. Obtain Confirmation. You are required to ask for confirmation the first time you email your client. If you do not receive confirmation from your client, let your Student Assistant Coordinator know. You should still continue to provide notes. Do not approach your client outside of class to check if they received your notes.

Notetaker payments

Getting paid

Payment is made direct into a bank account twice a month. In some cases, your first payment may be late if forms are still being processed in which case you may be issued a cheque for your first payment. For pay rates, see the notetaker job description. Deductions are made for CPP and EI. An income tax T4 slip can be downloaded from UBC Management Systems Portal (MSP).

Setting up your payroll

Complete a payroll direct deposit form (PDF). Submit the form, along with a void cheque to the drop off box located at Centre for Accessibility, 1203 Brock Hall. Keep track of your hours and verify them against payroll information on UBC Management Systems Portal (MSP).

Notetaker FAQ

1. What happens if I miss class?

If you know in advance that you will be absent from class, you should arrange for an alternate notetaker. It is the responsibility of the notetaker to ensure their client receives notes for each class.

2. My client has asked if I can tutor her. I am presently her notetaker. Is that okay?

No, that is not acceptable. You should discuss this request with the Access & Diversity Student Assistant Coordinator. If the student requires a tutor, advise the student to contact his or her Access & Diversity Advisor.

3. If my client is confidential, how do I obtain feedback about my notes?

Notetaker feedback is collected at the end of each term. You can obtain feedback about your notetaking by contacting the Student Assistant Coordinator.

4. I have accepted the job as a notetaker, but when I emailed my client, I did not hear back.

Contact the Student Assistant Coordinator and let them know the situation. It is important to receive at least one e-mail from your client so you know their email address is correct. Meanwhile, you should still email your notes to the email provided to you. Do not approach the client in person for reasons of confidentiality.

5. If the instructor hands out materials in class do I need to email that material to my client?

No, the client should be attending classes and receiving the same material as you. If the client is known to you and has missed three classes it is helpful to email the Student Assistant Coordinator (sometimes the client has dropped the class).

6. How and when do I get paid for my notetaking position?

For pay rates, see the notetaker job description. Your pay will go directly into your bank account twice a month. Your first payment may be delayed due to the large number of Student Assistants hired during the first few weeks of classes.

7. My client has requested that I take notes in a different style than I am used to. Am I required to change my notetaking style?

If your notetaking is clear it is not mandatory for you to switch to typed notes unless the Student Assistant Coordinator has requested this change.

8. My client wants me to continue notetaking for a different class in Term 2. What is the procedure for this?

The client can recommend a notetaker to the Student Assistant Coordinator. However, the notetaker needs to be registered in the course and must still apply for the job on the UBC Career Services webpage. Their application will be reviewed and by the Student Assistant Coordinator.