Are sites like www.isleptthroughclass.com cheating?
Are sites that offer students access to notes of the college lectures they might have missed while skipping class the same as buying term papers and answer guides to tests? Sites like www.isleptthroughclass.com and www.ShareNotes.com are popping up all over the Internet and tout that they allow students to easily access notes from classes they might have "forgotten" to attend.
This is not the first e-venture for the absent student. In 1999, in the early days of the world wide web, The New York Times published an article about a progressive new service offered by now-defunct website, StudentU.com which was hiring students at 62 universities over the country to take takes in over 50 of the "core" courses and were then posted online within 24 hours. The service was free and lasted for only a year, going south when the founder of the site was unable to continue the $300 per semester, per class, note submission payment.
In hopes to stay afloat longer than the first pioneer into online note submission, websites like isleptthroughclass.com offers students who post their notes online chances to earn "points" which can later be cashed in for giftcards for sites like Amazon.com. Additionally, if the notes portion of the site is not sufficient, students can also access an "Answer Board" portion of the site, where they can post questions about the notes, missed class, or even homework.
Are sites like this a slippery slope to purchasing papers and test answers? Many argue that these sites do not single handedly provide the substance to the student, that the student must take the notes that are posted and use them to study, write papers, etc. But, if this encourages students to miss class because they don't have to fear missing the notes, how is this any different than students not writing a paper that they bought instead? Websites like this are certainly interesting to follow, whatever your judgement of them may be.