FinalsClub.org Looks to Expand from the Bottom-Up
Andrew J. Magliozzi ’05, a Quincy House tutor, is looking to revolutionize the way students experience higher education through the expansion of his non-profit website FinalsClub.org, which allows students to share publicly class notes, outlines, and slides on the site.
This year, Magliozzi expanded the site’s client base, creating new branches at universities nationwide. Finalsclub.org is currently open to the Ivies, Berkeley, Lock Haven, MIT, Stanford, University of Texas, and Wellesley.
“I really want it to become a sustainable project at every college campus in the world,” Magliozzi explained. “We’re starting at a certain group of schools that have motivated students, and I have some connections at them. But we want to go everywhere.”
Magliozzi was inspired by the MIT Open Courseware project, which—like FinalsClub.org—is a free publication that gives the general public access to university course materials, including lecture videos. Since its creation in 2003, the MIT Open Courseware project, which is run by the university, has grown to include nearly every MIT course and has garnered nearly 100 million visits.
While Magliozzi hopes to replicate this program’s success, his approach differs: finalsclub.org relies on the participation of students, not the administration.
Magliozzi believes top-down models rely too heavily upon an innovative administrator, and therefore, are slow to spread. Rather, he intends “to rely on the creative capacity of students and do a bottom up project that will allow really anyone in the academic hierarchy to create and carry knowledge and share it freely with the world.”
As the bottom-up model relies on student initiative and participation, his goal in expanding the program has been to help students see the value of the resource, to see all that can be gained from sharing.
But finalsclub.org’s expansion has been slow going. This semester, only Harvard and Berkeley have course materials available on the site—Harvard has course material available for seven classes, Berkeley for one.
Although the project’s adoption has been slow, Magliozzi remains hopeful.
“I would say that my ultimate goal would be for a groundswell of support to overwhelm open courseware, and I suppose make it the default at every school everywhere. But that’s a big ambition.”