What the f**k is OneClass?

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Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.41.14 am Have you heard of a service called OneClass? If you are a student at an Australian university with groups on Facebook, then you will soon. OneClass is a Toronto-based startup that promises to help students get better grades, by having said students share with each other study notes from lectures and textbooks.

According to TechCrunch, it capitalises on a trend in education where students are sharing notes with each other – which, as a current university student, is completely true. However, OneClass wants to expand this to the whole student body, for the purposes of “social learning”. And they’re making you pay for the notes, whereas you would get them for free from your friends.

And I take some issue with that. I am a notetaker, and I write very elaborate and detailed notes to study for exams. But I won’t be uploading those notes on OneClass because – and it sounds really petty – I want to give my notes to my friends, the people that I know who have done the work, listen to most of the lectures, and have collaborated with during the course of the unit.

I don’t want my notes to be used by someone who hasn’t done all of that and is looking to just pass the unit so he doesn’t have to repeat the class. In other words, I don’t want to help slackers who want the easy way – which, I feel, OneClass is inadvertently helping.

That’s not to say all of those on OneClass are slackers – there are some who want to make a quick buck in selling their notes (they have every right to do so), and those who have difficulty with the unit. With the latter, I am happy to help them in any form I can. But I rather do it face-to-face rather than face-to-computer-screen. That way, I can adjust on the fly if a person understands – for example – the difference between temporal and spatial locality (it’s a computer thing, so don’t worry).

Campus Spammers

How OneClass came to my attention was because their “campus ambassador” for Monash University spammed every Monash student connected to a university-only Facebook group about the service. The campus ambassador created their own group called “Monash Marketplace” in order to create a Facebook event to promote OneClass.

Said campus ambassador even admitted that the tactic was annoying, and possibly unethical, but justified her actions by telling a complainant, “If OneClass can help even just a few students do better in their course then they otherwise would or help other students earn a little but of extra money for taking notes they would have taken anyway and hence better increasing their quality of student life, I have done my job.”

According to some reports online, this marketing tactic has been used in the past by campus ambassadors in other universities. “Spammy fake groups plaguing Tufts, paired with fake admins banning anyone who asks why 5500 people got an invite. Garbage marketing tactics,” according to one student.

“Their advertising and marketing plan hinges on spamming student groups and maliciously trying to take town similar institutions on college campuses,” another wrote.

So, if you’re a university student in Australia – or the United States, Canada or New Zealand – get ready for a barrage of OneClass spam from your local “campus ambassador”.

Join the Conversation

  • Nicole

    As a former OneClass employee I can verify that it’s a scam. I’m a university student they hired to be a “Community Manager” (i.e. go around my university with sign-up sheets for OneClass). They paid well, but Community Managers were repeatedly harrassed and guilt tripped (e.g. our bosses telling us that THEIR bosses were coming down hard on them because of us) when we didn’t meet the weekly quota of 100 sign-ups. I quit after a mass email was sent out by a few professors at my school talking about how OneClass didn’t even have permission to be advertising on campus (which they’d lied to me about) and that the matter was being taken up with the dean. Coming from someone who used to work for this company… avoid it like the plague.

  • Jenny Park

    They’re such an unethical company that’s unfair to students and takes advantage of them. I was sure I canceled my account long ago. Yet they took $72 from my bank account without even giving a notice beforehand saying I never canceled it and they “renewed” it. And when I asked for a refund, they said it was their policy to not give out refunds. WTF, it’s been less than a week since they took my money I never even used their stuff online. Amazon was able to give me refund even after 3 weeks. OneClass is a SCAM.

  • Tiffany

    THIS CONCEPT IS GOOD. HOWEVER IF YOU EVER ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS WITH ANYTHING THAT DEALS WITH CREDITS/REAL MONEY THEY WILL NEVER REPLY YOU. THEY TOOK AWAY $72 FROM MY ACCOUNT AND I’VE ALREADY SENT TWO EMAILS IN THE LAST WEEK: NO REPLY. JUST A BUNCH OF SCAMMMERS.

  • Stephanie Williams

    ONE class is a very unethical company who charge your credit card without your permission and their main goal is how to deceive you for making their very dirty money; AVOID them BIG time

  • Randall

    anything in life

  • Randall

    TERENCE HUYNH IS A NOBODY AND WILL NEVER BE.

  • Samuel

    This is such a terrible article. It just sounds like they are marketing their site….
    Am I wrong?

  • Ginko

    I see nothing wrong here

  • Pandanomic

    They did the same shit at UT-Austin!

  • I can see this going badly. Hello plagiarism!

    • Don Sullivan

      Yeah I agree. And I don’t need any improvement on my grades, so what’s the pay? Whenever I see the money OR gift card. Gift card? I don’t need no stinken Gift card!