Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog


How much are a student’s course notes worth?
September 19, 2008, 10:49 am
Filed under: Articles | Tags: , ,

So I came across an article in Inside Higher Ed entitled: “Sharing Your Notes Online — and Getting Paid for It“.   The article was featuring a new note sharing site called “Knetwit“. Sharing notes really isn’t anything new…  Students have been using Facebook, email, and other web2.0 sites to share course information with each other for quite some time now…  The getting paid for it what really caught my eye.  It’s an interesting model.  We have seen a large increase of students with laptops in the classroom since the college began offering wireless connectivity across campus.

Think about it, students are going to take notes anyway, and in doing so, they could get paid for it by sharing their notes on this service?  It’s probably something I would do as a student.  I regularly take copius notes from various conferences I attend and freely share them on the web…   Now, if I could get “reimbursed” for my efforts, well, that may be something I’d really be interested in!🙂

The site seems to be pretty well done, with a nice web viewer for the uploaded notes and all the other social networking components that are becoming a standard in any web2.0 service.

I created an account to check out the service and noticed that at least 7 students from Grand Rapids Community College are already using the site.  It appears that there are currently notes posted from Biology, Political Science, and English classes at GRCC.

I do wonder how course management systems like Blackboard could be expanded to offer such a service.  It would seem that as students are logged into their course on campus, a set of tools provided by the cms could also be leveraged by the students.  Plug in some instant messaging and realtime collaboration through products such as Wimba Pronto, and you have a combination of tools that have the potential for increasing a student’s learning experience.  The trouble is, is that most cms’s are really designed with the faculty members as the “users” of the applications, and in so much, there aren’t many student oriented capabilities to allow them to upload and share with other users their own generated content.  Some of these student focused group tools and features look to be coming in Blackboard’s Project NG so it will be interesting to see how the future cms competes, integrates, supports, and entertains these ideas.

Enter Facebook.  I noticed that Knetwit also has a Facebook application which I would imagine generate more usage.  One of the features I’ve always liked about the Blackboard integrated CourseFeed Facebook application, especially if you compare it to Blackboard Sync is that CourseFeed ha a course wall for student interchange.  Back in March, I took some time to run a side-by-side comparison of Bb Sync and CourseFeed. 

I suppose the kicker here is that student’s get paid for using the service… Something that wouldn’t be likely in a campus provided software solution.

What are your thoughts about this type of web service?


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“I regularly take copius notes from various conferences I attend and freely share them on the web… Now, if I could get “reimbursed” for my efforts, well, that may be something I’d really be interested in!”

I challenge that statement!🙂
I bet a large part of the reason that you post your notes publicly is to contribute to the community and engaging in dialog with others to learn. That sound right? If so, getting compensated would only work well if it still was effective at helping you get those other needs met, is my guess.

Comment by Neal

Never heard of this service before, I will look into this, sounds interesting.

Comment by Samil

I Challenge your challenge Neal🙂 I don’t think by Knetwit sharing revenue with people who are submitting their work would would “only work well if it still was effective at helping you get those other needs met”. The way I see it, facebook, myspace, ect. types of sites are making billions of dollars off of user doing things on their site. No users, no money. By giving back I think users will post notes publicly to contribute to the community and engage in dialog with others to learn, and hey, why not a little on the side.

Plus, the cream rising to the top. Knetwit pays for downloads as well as uploads. So if your notes suck… you wont make as much money. Therefore, by paying for downloads, you are increasing the effort put in by students who are actually doing the work to make sure its done thoroughly and correctly.

Comment by Scott




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