A Penn State student is creating a free, new way to integrate school and social networking.
Pawel Puchalski started a website, CourseGroups.com, that is designed so a student can create an account or use a Facebook login to access it as a Facebook application, Puchalski (junior-economics) said. It will be along the same lines as Facebook’s group templates except it will supply a database of classes, instead of relying on someone to voluntarily create a class group.
“The bigger purpose of CourseGroups will be to make it easier to connect with people who are studying the same subject, a way to make academics social while easily accessible,” Puchalski said.
Once a student has picked his or her classes, he or she can choose to upload study guides, essays or just browse the webpage looking for helpful tips on how to succeed in the class, Puchalski said.
“CourseGroups will use Facebook as a medium to connect students through academics,” Puchalski said.
CourseGroups could be a good starting point, and will be a helpful tool when trying to form study groups, Brittany Bradley(freshman-English) said.
Students who choose to upload study guides, essays or formula sheets have the option to get paid. While a student views your document, GoogleAdSense advertisements will also be on the screen. Every time someone clicks on the advertisement, the student who uploaded the document will get paid.
The number of advertisement clicks the student gets depends on the quality of the document, Puchalski said.
CourseGroups will not only be used for Penn State students. It will also have classes available to login from all Universities above 1,000 students across the United States.
While CourseGroups is being put together with good intentions, the question of plagiarism is always valid, Puchalski said. To combat this, he has organized a team of specialists who will scan the site regularly to look for people disregarding academic integrity.
CourseGroups will not be limited to only students. Once someone logs in, they have the choice to pick between a student or teacher account. This will allow teachers to actively communicate with students in class and monitor the page to make sure there is no plagiarism.
Veronica Marin (freshman-communications) said she thinks CourseGroups intentions sound good, but people could easily abuse it.
CourseGroups will also include an updated academic schedule for the university the student has registered.
“For example, if the late drop deadline is approaching, students will get a notification,” Puchalski said.
In April 2012, Puchalski was frustrated over a problem in a class, and then resorted to a Facebook group page for help.
“I began to wonder why all of my classes did not have a Facebook page, then realized that nobody wanted to take the responsibility of [creating a page],” Puchalski said.
CourseGroups will launch in October 2012.