Company eliminates online note services

Online notes publisher Versity.com no longer emphasizes its note-taking services after a merger with Collegeclub.com.

Students searching for Versity.com online are forwarded to Collegeclub.com, a Web site that offers academic tutorials in a variety of subject areas.

Last year Versity.com paid students to take notes for classes. These notes were then listed on the Web site for students to supplement class notes.

But some students used the online notes as an alternative to attending classes, professors said.

After an extensive advertising campaign at GW last spring semester, the company listed 119 courses on its Web site, according to a Feb. 24 article in The Hatchet.

The Web site posted notes for more than 6,500 classes at 160 universities last year, paying students $8 to $12 a lecture for their notes.

Versity.com came under intense national scrutiny after some professors said their lecture material from class is intellectual property that cannot be published or reprinted without their permission.

Professors also said students benefit from class attendance and should not rely on the online notes.

Notes from philosophy professor Stiv Fleishman’s logic classes, Introduction to Logic and Symbolic Logic, were posted on the company’s Web site last semester.

I found out about it by looking into it myself, he wrote in an e-mail. No one from Versity.com notified me that my courses would be used in that way; nor did the note-taker tell me about it in advance. I was unhappy with what I saw. In effect, Versity.com was providing a `shadow course’ service for students.

Fleishman contacted the company, the student taking the notes for Versity.com and the University’s general counsel to request that the posted version of his class lecture attribute him as the source of the information, he wrote in the e-mail.

Although Collegeclub.com continues to offer some notes online, the site’s policies for purchasing and posting notes have changed.

No longer paying students to take class notes, the company offers only Novel Notes, which are summaries of about 100 books, similar to Cliff’s Notes or Spark Notes.

Junior Billy Tagg said he used notes from Versity.com a great deal last semester for three of his four classes.

It’s going to be a real drag this year (without the notes), he said.

Other students said the notes only hurt their grades.

Don’t use it! senior Rachel Chute said. The notes are awful!

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