A new Web site, koofers.com, is taking “borrowing notes” to another level. The site offers past exams and class notes, among other networking services.
The Web site started at Virginia Tech in 2007 to provide students with notes, quizzes and exams from previous semesters. The site has grown mainly by word of mouth, said R. Lee Bradshaw, director of marketing for Koofers.
“(Koofers) builds communication online for test preparation, and students can give and receive help,” Bradshaw said.
According to Koofers Headquarters, over 1,000 USF students have already registered.
At koofers.com, students can find their classes and instructors, share course materials and manage their classes up to three semesters in advance. Instructors can also interact with other staff members, answer student questions and manage materials posted by and for students.
However, staff can only monitor material on the Web site and, if they want any changes, they have to contact the site workers.
“The faculty are not (directly) involved, but we would like them to (become members) so they can monitor the class,” Bradshaw said.
Wei Zhang, a USF associate professor of religious studies, said she does not hand out exams, does not use Blackboard and has never heard of Koofers.
With professors not having any control over Koofers – unlike Blackboard – the idea behind leaving it up to the students may provide an open, online community for test preparations. It should also allow more partnership in studying. According to the Web site, koofers.com can help students collaborate with other students accross the nation. The site also has flash cards students can use when studying alone.
Bradshaw said he feels that every test should be available to level out the playing field. Every university has the capability of using the site even though most colleges are not aware of it, he said.
To obtain the information used on its Web site, Koofers has to go through a process to request it from the school.
To ensure it receives the correct classes, Koofers requires a digital copy from the school or at least a place where they can pull the information, said Jonathan Politte, an assistant traveling with Bradshaw to promote Koofers at different schools.
“First (we must) file a public information request and build a platform and know what teachers are teaching and when,” he said. “We request the class schedule for the semester and integrate it into the system.”
When it does not get the information or receives incorrect information, Koofers relies on students to help build the site by reporting these mistakes. Reporting can be difficult because of the number of universities involved, Bradshaw said.
“It’s all student processed. They put everything up there – the faculty can only monitor the material being uploaded,” Bradshaw said. “We encourage professors to sign up and we try to partner with Student Government services and with the university.”
The representatives from the site have already visited USF, the University of Florida, the University of South Carolina and Auburn University and are planning trips to more campuses.
For more information, students can visit koofers.com.