Expensive tutors and after school study sessions may be a thing of the past given the surge of online social media and a rise of school faculty reduction and program cutbacks. It is no wonder why students have increasingly adopted the newest and seemingly most accessible form of studying and homework assistance—online study websites.
Sites such as Cramster.com, one of the Internet’s leading online study websites, has seen more than 500,000 registered users, and competing sites have also shared in rising numbers. What’s the draw?
Online study websites offer community between fellow students, educators, and subject enthusiasts who share and exchange information about pertinent academic topics in order to assist or gain assistance with their assignments.
Launched in 2003, Cramster offers comprehensive course material on subjects relating to math or science, including lecture notes, textbook solutions, answers to homework questions.
Course Hero has coined itself as a learning social network or a sort of “Facebook” site for study information and learning exchange.
Other sites such as eNotes, emphasizing primarily literature, Koofers, which provides an assemblage of old tests, exam answers, and SparkNotes, which offers free access to over a thousand literature study guides, are also available to the student subscriber.
As this new model of study blossoms, some educators claim that these sites have given rise to misconduct and dishonesty. Other educators have been forced to reconfigure their methods of teaching. Anne Marie Chaker of the Wall Street Journal reported in a recent article, that “[these] study sites are likely to propel schools to rethink the way they teach.” Chaker continued to note educator lackluster, detailing one professor’s testament of having to adapt his grading scale to the new wave of open information sharing— “Professor Grams, the physics professor from South Dakota State University, said his students’ use of Cramster has forced him to lessen the weight of graded homework to 10% of the final grade from 30% in the past.”
However, some professors are themselves utilizing these study sites, according to the WSJ article, as an effective method to share and upload class material for easy student access.
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