Does poor note taking affect retention? Tennessee Tech explore notetaking software with ‘at risk’ students


Presented at 4:00pm in Cotton Creek I on Thursday, November 15, 2018.



  • Megan Barrett, Account Manager, Sonocent

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Struggling with retention targets? Retaining ‘at risk of failure’ students is a complex task, but for Tennessee Tech’s DSS department assistive technology was a tool for empowerment on intensive courses. This session explores how a pilot of note taking software enabled every single student to increase their GPA and engage with challenging courses.


Is student retention a growing concern for your Disability Support Services? For Tennessee Technological University, students with dyslexia and ADHD were struggling to work independently - putting them at risk of failure on intensive courses. Taking poor quality notes was a considerable blocker to their success, as students struggled to capture and engage with information crucial for assessed work. This presentation explores Tennessee Tech’s use of note-taking software to significantly increase GPA for ‘at risk of failure’ students — and, consequently, improve retention rates. On average, students using Sonocent Audio Notetaker saw a 2.81 GPA increase in just one semester, with one student insisting that the software stopped him from dropping out of college. Ed Beason, Assistant Director of Disability Services, and Sonocent explore how students can use accommodations to take notes independently so they can then identify and organize key information for assessments and exam preparation.


  1. Explore how poor quality note taking affects attainment and your ability to retain at-risk students.
  2. Discover how Sonocent Audio Notetaker was used to empower students and increase learning independence.
  3. Review Tennessee Tech’s standout success with a Sonocent Pilot to increase ‘at risk’ students’ GPAs.

Disability Areas

All Areas, Cognitive/Learning

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology

Speaker Bio(s)

Megan Barrett

As an Account Manager at Sonocent, Craig works with over 100 universities and community colleges across the US to help implement Audio Notetaker and deliver effective note taking accommodations. Having delivered over 200 training sessions, Craig is passionate about the Sonocent mission to help students harness the power of spoken language to study in a way that champions their individual learning need and style. You may have heard Craig speak at AT conferences, including regional AHEADs, and he returns now to explore student independence and attainment with AT.