New Website launched to help students get through the hardships of school
By Jim Pollad
A new website called Cooplearn, short for Cooperative Learning, is taking universities and colleges by storm. Cofounder, Bassil Eid, said “The website is experiencing a constant surge of students signing up within only two weeks of its beta relaunch.” What started out as simply a beta test project inspired by Eid’s personal experience attending university is quickly turning into an educational tool being utilized by students across North America to help them get through university and college.
Eid explained that the website connects students with other students taking the same courses in the same university or college. The students are connected in an environment which Cooplearn calls “studyrooms.” “The studyroom is a direct match to the student’s course that he/she is taking at their specific school” explained Eid. In the studyroom, students can share notes, post current assignments that they were given in class and work on the questions of the assignment together. They can also post past exams and review them together, always being in contact with their friends and classmates throughout the entire course experience.
I joined Cooplearn only a week ago, and have found studyrooms that match the courses I am taking at UNBC. The other users and students are my classmates and friends, and we tackle the course’s assignments together, providing support for one another to ensure we all get it done. From my experience, the biggest advantage of using Cooplearn is actually the secure feeling of knowing that you will complete the upcoming assignment. This relief has allowed me to focus on learning the course material and not stressing about due dates.
Eid has always believed in the concept of social learning. “There are immense benefits in studying together. Only through group study can one truly grasp the full scope of a topic.” I asked Eid what separates him from the other websites out there that provide similar services; “Cooplearn is the only website that directly matches with the courses that the student is taking in their specific university or colleges, providing specific answers to specific classroom questions while other websites simply provide students a free for all of questions and answers from random users which have no knowledge of the classroom teachings and cannot provide answers that incorporate classroom material.”
Eid explained that the schools have actually tried to harness the power of social learning through the inhouse Learning Management Systems (LMS) commonly developed by Blackboard. “University LMS’ do offer the technical environment that allows for student collaboration, however universities and colleges are overlooking an integral social part of the equation” Eid said. “University and college LMS’ are professor driven and led; meanwhile Cooplearn’s studyrooms are completely managed by peer students, with no professors at the helm.” Eid concluded that removing the professor removes a student’s fear of being assessed or judged by someone who is presumed to have more knowledge of the topic. Students feel more comfortable contributing to discussions and answering questions when they are familiar with others in the classroom, leveling the knowledge playing field and encouraging more participation.
In a time where tuition costs are constantly rising and students feel like they are getting less and less out of their education, especially with an increasingly competitive job market awaiting, Cooplearn gives education back to students, removing the pressures of having to achieve outstanding results and allowing students to focus simply on learning. “It’s a given that universities will always pose an immense challenge to many students,” said Eid. “It’s not a given that these students should have to face that challenge on their own.”