"Sonocent is super easy to use, and I’m not spending hours training students, which is a really big plus in my book." Rachel Kruzel, Accommodations Specialist

Reducing the Burden of Note-Taking Administration at Augsburg College


Executive Summary

Augsburg College is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to nearly 3,500 students from diverse backgrounds. As a college that prides itself on the personalized support they provide to their students, Augsburg looked to Sonocent to help ALL students take comprehensive, meaningful notes from lectures with complete independence.

By implementing Sonocent, Augsburg College:

  • Improved independence and learning outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities
  • Lessened the administrative burden of note-taking
  • Reduced the requirement for paid peer note-takers, resulting in cost savings

Challenges

Before implementing Sonocent, the student support team at Augsburg College provided students who struggled to take effective notes with smart pens or support from paid peer note-takers.

Unfortunately, smart pens weren’t effective for students whose challenges included writing or synthesizing lecture material in real time. Meanwhile, the cost and administrative burden involved with allocating paid peer note-takers was proving prohibitive, and wasn’t helping students develop the note-taking skills that they would need in further education and employment.

To meet these challenges, Augsburg College were hoping that Sonocent software would provide a method for taking notes that all students could perform independently, without significant levels of training and ongoing support.


How Sonocent Helped

Augsburg College implemented our software as one of their core note-taking provisions in 2011. They manage all their licenses from an online control panel, assigning the software to students who require assistance with note taking for defined periods.

“Sonocent is super easy to use, and I’m not spending hours training students, which is a really big plus in my book.”

Rachel Kruzel
Accommodations Specialist

The simplicity of this process has lifted much of the administrative burden that support staff once faced when coordinating paid peer note-takers and tracking dozens of smart pens. The college have also found that students require no more than 15-minutes of initial training in how to use the software, before grasping its core applications.

The software has proved very popular with students across all subjects, with support staff reporting high levels of adoption and significant improvements in learning outcomes. For students with disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD, the benefits of using Sonocent for note-taking have been particularly profound, with many students who were never previously able to take effective notes without support, now comfortable doing so independently.

“I was really worried about my grade in the first class where I used the software for note taking. But I ended up getting 96%, and I think a huge
part of that was down to Sonocent.”

Leah Nelson,
Music therapy major

Consequently, Augsburg College plan to continue making Sonocent software available to their students. They have even become advocates for the software, with support staff delivering joint presentations with the Sonocent team at educational technology conferences, including AHEAD 2015.


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