'Notehall' website allows students to exchange course materials for a small price
Four college graduates have started a website that focuses on academic success through sharing course materials in an online marketplace.
The website, www.notehall.com, is a place where students can purchase credits to access course notes and study guides posted by other students.
Students who post study materials are paid by the website for their contribution, and while the site has potential for illegitimacy, it is backed by Chegg, the popular online source for new and used textbooks.
In order to access material on the site, students must first register and then purchase credits using the site's virtual currency system, according to Notehall.com.
The website said over 50 colleges and universities are now participating in the site, and Seton Hall students have said that they would consider participating in order to receive additional help in their courses.
"Personally I would use the site to have another study resource in my hands," said junior diplomacy major Mery Arcila. "Although I am a strong believer that you learn by actually writing down something and actively taking notes in class yourself, it will help you get a higher grade."
Arcila said the site would be a great resource for students both selling and purchasing study materials.
"Comparing notes to someone else is very helpful because they may have gotten something from the lecture you missed," Arcila said.
According to some professors at the Hall, using the site to access materials in order to more fully understand a subject is supported.
Professor Yui Suzuki of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy department said he would allow students to use the site as long as they use it properly.
"It really depends on how students use it," Suzuki said. "Ideally, students can compare their notes to deepen their understanding."
However, Suzuki is worried that a site which allows students to upload all of a courses notes and study guides could prevent students from coming to class.
"Worst case, students just read the website without coming to class," Suzuki said. "I believe it is the instructor's responsibility that this kind of website will not be a way to escape from classes."
While many students say they would support the website, others believe purchasing notes would be a waste of money.
"I think it's an interesting idea, but is basically useless," said junior Aaron Franke. "If you wanted the notes, you could always ask a classmate or friend."
Franke feels that simply reading notes is not a productive way to learn course material, and would not be worth the money.
"I feel like some students who have money to throw away will use the site," Franke said. "I don't think it's feasible for the majority of college students to spend money buying notes when many of us are already deep in debt."
Some agree with Franke in that they believe others may find the site helpful, but that it comes at a price that many students will not be willing to pay.
"I already pay tuition to go to class, so I wouldn't pay extra for someone's notes," said junior elementary and special education major, Moira Kelly. "However, I think there are a number of students who would use this site… it's similar to getting a tutor, you're paying someone to help you."
Students can register for the site at www.notehall.com.
Ethan Arnowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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