Cooplearn.com is an online education tool, now in beta, that involves students with education in a radical new way, encouraging cooperation and note-sharing by students online.
The Cooplearn website describes the program’s “Social Learning Management System,” which places students in a web-operated classroom taught and managed by students, for students. Termed “studyrooms,” these pages represent classes taught in one’s university, and use actual material in a different setting in order “to give education back to the students,” and empower students with communication in a much more efficient way than was possible before.
Cooplearn strives to “take the pressures of schooling individually” and makes it possible for group study sessions to extend to everyone in a class. Every student, then, can become a teaching assistant, placing the power of education really more in the hands of the students.
Another site, known as StudyBlue offers similar services, although Cooplearn is unique in its structure and the approach it takes to recreating the social non-classroom setting. StudyBlue features a sleek design and offers students the ability to share custom “flashcards,” or little discreet packets of course information, with potentially hundreds of other students in the same class.
The classes that Cooplearn has to offer are constructed by students for students, for the sake of mutual benefit, so the courses will be presented “mirroring those taken in academic institutions. Like a day spent at the library with a classmate, talking over problems and hashing out study guides, Cooplearn aims to facilitate informal, efficient study sessions between peers, but because it’s all online, the classroom is no longer bound by brick and mortar.
For the first time, every students’ notetaking and reviews can be posted online, accessed, and discussed by every other student. Obviously, this is a concern for some universities, especially those with stricter rules concerning privacy and those with plagiarism problems, though it may actually turn out to be good for students’ grades in the end.
Because they are so fresh and so radically different from other education sites, time will tell if Cooplearn and StudyBlue are adequate study tools or online time wasters. Many students would likely find Cooplearn and StudyBlue useful, although perhaps professors have something else to say about them.