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Student Accessibility Services

Note-Taking Resources

During the initial meeting with Student Accessibility Services (SAS), students may have been introduced to multiple note-taking strategies. At the college level, it is not always appropriate for students to be provided with a copy of class notes like they may have received in high school. This accommodation at the college level may be represented on Faculty Notification Letters as, “Opportunity to record lecture.” Students should take time to figure out how they learn and study best. Based on what works for them, students may want to implement one or more of the following resources. Students should inform their professors which of the following resources they plan to use, especially if it involves having additional technology on their desk.

After a few class periods, if a student is still unsure which resource works best for them, they should contact SAS to set up an appointment. Additionally, note-taking training sessions are offered by the Academic Success Center each semester. Note-taking strategies are also covered in the CU1010 course offered for first-year students.

Note-Taking Strategies

learning styles and associated strategies
Learning Style Note-taking strategies


  • Digital voice recorders. 
  • Smartpen. 
  • Glean. 
  • Actively participate in class discussions.


  • Highlight notes in different colors. 
  • Use different note-taking methods (e.g. outline, flowcharts, concept maps). 


  • Re-write class notes. 
  • Create flashcards. 
  • Move around while studying. 
  • Act-out concepts. 

Recording Software

Glean is a note-taking program that records lectures and turns them into audio segments that can be marked and revisited later. Students who use Glean as an accommodation can sync audio bytes with content and enhance their notes. 

Glean features include: 

  • Creating transcriptions from audio recordings.
  • Capturing audio, text and slides in a single note-taking workspace.
  • Organizing and categorizing note sets so you can easily return to them.
  • Turning your notes into various formats to suit your learning style.
  • Improving audio quality and extracting only what is useful.
  • Enriching notes with drawings, scribbles and photos — perfect for graphs, equations and diagrams.
  • Uploading your notes and PowerPoint slides to the software to review and then engage with the added information

Smart Pens

A smart pen is a writing tool that enhances note taking by syncing audio from lectures with handwritten notes. Students use specially designed paper, which, when touched by the pen, plays back the corresponding audio from the lecture.

Smart pens will allow you to write less and listen more. These pens give you the freedom to focus on listening instead of worrying whether or not you are writing down every word. When using a smart pen, you may only write down a few main ideas from the lecture. The playback feature of the pen allows you to listen to audio from lectures with a single tap of the pen. The smart pen syncs handwritten notes to the audio that was being recorded at the very second you were writing.

Simply tap the pen to your handwriting to hear what your professor said about that particular concept. SAS currently has LiveScribe smart pens to loan to students each school year at no charge. A staff member will provide smart pen training to students as often as needed. Students who qualify for this accommodation are given one LiveScribe Smartpen, a USB charging cord, two LiveScribe notebooks and ink refills (as needed) for the school year. Please contact SAS if you are interested in this program. For more information on the pen, visit