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ClusterFlunk- Helping You Out of an Academic Jam

Clusterflunk: Encouraging Cyber Class Collaboration

            A new year at the University of Iowa always brings many new changes and opportunities for students on campus. From new restaurants to sample to new student organizations to join, one thing is for sure: Hawkeyes love trying new things. Things don’t always stick, so when something does there is a good possibility that the trend will soon spread beyond Iowa’s campus.

            One prime example is ClusterFlunk, an up-and-coming social network for studying, designed to help you and your friends avoid “cluster flunking” your classes. The purpose of the site is to help students connect and collaborate with other students in their classes at the university. Students log in using their school email address and upload their class schedule. They then have access to any notes and information students in the same classes have shared as well as a convenient place to interact with their classmates. The site was created by University of Iowa students, AJ Nelson and Joe Dallago who wanted to create a site that would help them get class information quickly during exam week or during times that they couldn’t contact their TA’s or Professors.

Image from ClusterFlunk Facebook

Although Clusterflunk is a great resource and has become very popular across campus, it leaves room for academic integrity concerns. Because the website allows students to post content like lecture notes or study guides, there are some rules that should be followed while navigating the site so that students don’t find themselves crossing the line between collaboration and cheating. Here are some dos and don’ts for “ClusterFlunking”:

DO- Check with each professor about their thoughts and policies on the use of Clusterflunk within their class. Some professors strongly discourage using the site while others actually use it themselves to monitor posts or to update class information. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to ask and can save you potential heartache.

DON’T- Post entire papers or tests that others can plagiarize or steal. Instead, post study guides, questions, or homework help that can truly help you and others learn and collaborate. This is the easiest and simplest way to avoid cheating and to get that A.

DO- Spread the word about the site! The more students who join the site and enroll in the classes, the more effective the site will be.

DON’T- Use the site as an excuse to skip class or not do the work yourself because you think someone else will post the notes for the lecture you missed every day. The site isn’t meant to make students lazier, just more resourceful.

 

Image from ClusterFlunk Instagram

So the next time you find yourself scrambling to study for finals or have a quick question about that upcoming paper… consider ClusterFlunk among the resources available to you. The site has already spread to 15 other campuses beyond the University of Iowa so you surely won’t be alone. Happy ClusterFlunking!

Check out ClusterFlunk and see if your campus has caught on: https://next.clusterflunk.com

Thanks to Madeline Jacqua, our VIP at the University of Iowa for this awesome post!