In the article, "Disappearing Ink", Todd Gitlin discusses StudentU.com, a website that sells lecture notes from over 60 different universities. These notes, taken by graduate students, very thoroughly summarize the lectures. This website and others similar to it are creating controversy in many universities. Gitlin, being an experienced professor, writes from experience saying that some students who had purchased the pre-written notes didn't attend class because they already had the lecture on paper, and those that did attend failed to take part in the discussion as they normally had. A variety of opinions have evolved on the subject, as one student, Blake Morrison, feels that these "canned" notes can not truly capture everything there is to be learned from a professor's presentation. Brook Borne, however, feels that these online notes would work well in addition to the discussion. Other students such as Rose Szybrowski and Ralph Tedson find no reason to listen to a professor read text you could read yourself.
After considering possible outcomes, I find these websites are not problematic. Students who do not want the notes will not buy them, and those who do will. As to Gitlin and others concerned with attendance, online colleges have similar programs that are easier and cheaper.
Suzie Quintana and Michael Rollafson, along with other students, feel that a professor's lecture is more valuable than copied notes. Although these students may not find online notes to be beneficial, others purchasing and using them will not affect their learning. Quintana and Rollafson can continue attending class just as they always have and remain virtually un-phased by the online release of the lecture. The fact that other students could already have what they are writing will not inhibit their learning in any way.
Some consider the prerelease of the notes to be an academic asset. For instance, Jamal Peters feels that having to write notes in class... [continues]
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