Course Notes

Study Guide

On-line notes companies which provide free lecture notes to students have been booming for the recent two years. They hire students to note down lecture notes and then post them on the web sites where a variety of advertisements could bring about huge revenues. Some students supplement their notes by visiting those sites while attending lectures regularly, some just totally skip the class by relying on those on-line notes, others consider them unreliable or ridiculous. The on-line notes which are supposed to fill in the gaps in students' notes and make better interaction between students and professors, based on the companies' claims , are opposed by some professors because of copyright infringement and academic honesty violation. Some Universities have taken actions against lecture notes companies. A law has been passed in California state to prohibit the sale and distribution of lecture notes in campus.

  1. Are online notes a godsend? 
    • How much classroom experience you can get from the on-line notes? 
    • Can on-line notes completely replace lecture attendance? 
    • Can on-line notes improve students' GPA and even push up the whole education level? 
  2. Who is the legitimate owner of on-line notes, student note taker, professor,the University or the company? 
  3. Do you need professor permission to post notes based upon their lectures?
  4. Is the provided notes correct and updated?
  5. Is the propaganda around the page appropriate?
  6. Do students even need to take notes if they are provided on such a service?
  7. Classes are usually based around the professor, do you think these online notes are enough?
  8. Is it ethical for students to sell the lecture notes? 
  9. Should the college interfere when its class notes are posted on line? 

Recently sites offering course notes have began springing up all over the web. Most of these sites offer these notes which are usually taken by students for a fee to those who are willing to purchase them. These sites are completely ethical. Most arguments are that students who read these notes will not be attending class, and the notes will mis-represent the material presented in class. What if a student misses class, and then copies notes from a fellow classmate? This is usually the instruction given by a professor when a student misses class. Another issue that arises is that of copyright. Selling these class notes for profit can be seen as unethical if the professor claims that the material presented in class is copyrighted by them. But again this also goes back to the scenario of what happens if a student misses class, and copies notes from a fellow classmate, is this violating the copyright of the professor? Some states are banning the posting of class lecture notes on the web, such as california Calif. Legislation Forbids Sale of Lecture Notes. There are several sites offering these services such as Study 24-7 and Study Aid. There are many articles that argue that these sites are unethical such as Online Course Notes Draw Fire From Professors, Officials and Shouldn't Have Right to Distribute Class Notes. These articles tell about the copyright issues brought up by selling lecture notes online. There are also sites which provide arguments for the distribution of lecture notes Versity Getting Stronger which is an example of this.

For further reading on the debate try this link.