Note Taking

Note Taking/Lecture Capture

A notetaker may be one of your requests. Historically, many students have experienced difficulty and/or delays in acquiring a human notetaker for one or more classes. Some of these human concerns include:

  • Difficulty identifying a notetaker; sometimes takes weeks, if ever
  • Delays in receiving notes from a notetaker
  • Notetakers take notes that work for them but may not be what you need and/or are in a style that does not work for you
  • Notetaker is absent
  • Notetaker (or student) drops class and does not tell anyone so there’s a delay in securing another
  • Notetaker is failing the class (How good were those notes?)
  • Notetaker accidentally writes down incorrect information (How would you even know?)

Many universities around the country are reporting similar issues. Universities such as Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia Tech and Georgia State, amongst many others, are working out alternative plans to the fallible human note taker. The results are much more effective and efficient for lecture-capture. Depending on the rationale behind your request for a notetaker, please review the following options and let us know, as soon as possible, what will work best for you for your future lecture-capture needs.


  1. Personal Recording Device: Use of recording device of your choice to record your classes: laptop, digital recorder, cell phone, etc.
  2. SmartPen: Use of SmartPen to record classes and ability to return to a particular part of lecture at the touch of the pen. (Available for loan from AACE, or you may purchase your own)
  3. Sonocent Software: Use this software to record classes on your laptop, typing in your own notes adjacent to the recording, and syncing with any PowerPoint slides provided by your instructor. Check out this brief demo to help you decide if Sonocent is right for you. (AACE would assign a Sonocent license to you and provide software training,
    by appointment, if needed; or, you may purchase your own license directly from Sonocent)
  4. Otter App: There’s also an app you may want to use for recording, that is super helpful. Are you already familiar with Otter? If not, consider downloading the free app on your smart phone. It appears in the app store as “Otter Voice Meeting notes.” Once you download it and select the record button (image of a mic), it will begin recording and provide a real time transcript on your screen. It is not perfect but is the best real time app we’ve seen so far. Ultimately, you can edit the transcript, save it, copy and paste it into another document, highlight important notes, etc. If something does not appear transcribed correctly, you can turn up the volume, tap on that area and listen to what was actually said at that time. Otter comes with ten free hours per month; certainly enough to give it a try. We’d love to get some feedback from you if you have time. If you find it very useful, and want to use it more than the free hours, we may be able to assist with the monthly fee.
  5. Live Caption: Automatically caption media playing on your phone. With a single tap, Live Caption automatically captions videos, podcasts, and audio messages—even stuff you record yourself, without ever needing WiFi or cell phone data