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Studyblue.com founder Chris Klundt and spokesperson Ben Jedd say website can help for midterms.[/media-credit]

An online forum offering students the opportunity to share study materials, known as Studyblue.com, says they’re gearing up for midterms once again.

“Studying in groups can improve learning,” said Ben Jedd, spokesperson for StudyBlue.com. “And with the start of midterms, Studyblue.com can be an incredibly useful tool for students to make studying easier since it brings class material together for them.”

Appearing on nearly 2,100 campuses nationwide in two years, StudyBlue.com lets students collaborate and share study materials for classes and exams.

The website was started in 2007 by University of Wisconsin alumni Chris Klundt and Dave Sargent, who studied computer science and business, respectively. Klundt and Sargent said they wanted to create an independent place for academic support where students can utilize academic tools and networking.

“We wanted to avoid getting involved with administration and professors,” Klundt said. “(We wanted to) provide a way for students to interact with each other, a bottom-up process without the professors being involved.”

He went on to say that well before the Internet existed, students have studied together and taken notes. StudyBlue.com has created a new forum for this practice to take place over the Internet.

Jedd said when StudyBlue.com took off on the UW campus, the founders realized they could replicate their plan at other colleges in Wisconsin.

“We focused on schools that were similar to UW in size and demographics,” Jedd said.

StudyBlue.com uses tools like uploaded class notes, flashcards, textbook outlines and shared files for review, studying and test preparation.

Klundt added UW had over 30 percent of the undergraduate student body signed up on the website at the end of last spring, while a number of other universities were already over 20 percent of students.

Some professors are excited about the website and its opportunities for students to share information from classes and create study material together. Some even encourage their students during class to take advantage of it, according to Klundt.

“It gives students a way to download papers and notes — people have been doing that all along,” said political science professor Charles Franklin.

When asked whether Studyblue.com may foster cheating, Franklin said he didn’t actually know about the site or hear of it before, but like a lot of web technology, it sounds like it blurs the line. He said it doesn’t really sound like a bad thing, though he’d be interested to learn more.

“I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with it, though others might disagree. Students will get out of it what they put into it,” Franklin said.

When Klundt was asked a similar question he said there will always be people that are afraid of change and what technology can accomplish.

“People said the calculator was cheating when it first came out. Now it’s in every classroom,” Klundt said. “We are here to provide a platform and framework to make studying easier because sharing electronically is a simpler way of going about things than writing it down.”

Former Chancellor John Wiley serves on the Board of Directors for Studyblue.com.