Nexus Notes, an Australia-based college-note-sharing company, opened its website to UT students last week — the company’s first venture into the American marketplace.
Through the Nexus Notes website, students can submit a semester’s worth of notes to be posted online for a course. From there, students can purchase the notes for $35, and half of the total proceeds go to the original author.
Xavier Collins, business development manager at Nexus Notes, said the website serves as tutoring in a written format and allows students to learn from other students.
“The best students can make great teachers,” Collins said. “We see student-produced content as a supplement.”
Although Collins said the notes are intended to be resource, Panos Melisaris, economics junior and chair of the Student Conduct Advisory Committee, said purchasing someone else’s notes is unethical.
“I think that kind of defeats the purpose of going to class and learning,” Melisaris said. “If you’re buying notes, you’re not necessarily learning or processing the information. … You’re essentially buying the information from someone else and removing that incentive to do well.”
Collins said the notes are comparable to student-written textbooks and could foster a peer-to-peer learning environment. Publishing one’s notes for profit is also a benefit, according to Collins.
“This is giving students the opportunity to [take] something they’ve put all this hard work into and actually generate an income out of it and help students at the same time,” Collins said.
Public relations senior Mia Fredricks said Collins approached her to encourage her to submit her notes to the website for future students to purchase. She is now an “author” on the website.
“I think with a student body of over 50,000, it’s a really great opportunity,” Fredricks said. “Everyone has had someone that has given them notes in the past.”
Roseanne Carreon, women and gender studies and theatre and dance sophomore, said purchasing other students’ past notes could help her gain a better understanding of a course.
“It’s always good to get someone else’s interpretation of what’s going on in the class [and] how they understand it,” Carreon said.
High textbook prices might also motivate students to purchase past semesters’ notes, according to Collins, although he said the notes are not intended to be substitutes for textbooks or real learning.
“Textbooks are getting so expensive, and it may be the case that, potentially, student-created content is seen as a better value for money,” Collins said. “But at the same time, we’re simply here to create an extra learning resource.”
Collins said Nexus Notes will use UT’s experience as a model for growth at other American universities if the website takes off.
“We really love the fact that students are so proud to be here,” Collins said. “They really get behind the University, and that sort of campus culture, we thought, would be really conducive to growing the business.”