Last month, Florida Southern College Communication students launched multiple websites aimed at benefitting the student body.
Students of Professor William Allen’s public relations strategies course set out to solve common problems facing the FSC student community. Their hard work and innovative thinking throughout the semester resulted in four new websites that launched in March.
Allen, the newest professor in the Communications department, hoped to impact his students by teaching innovative thinking and encouraging useful solutions to problems.
“The idea of the class is to be disruptive in its communication. We want to find a problem, then work to solve the problem,” Allen said. “I had each student come up with 20 ideas. There are 20 students in the class, so we had 400 ideas. We chose to develop four of them early on the course.”
The students chose to develop mocnotes.com, which is a website that allows students to share their class notes. The idea for the website first occurred to Allen when talking to students about the disability statement included in every course description.
“I remember I was sitting in an online group meeting, and the disability statement came up. I found it interesting that it said students can share or request notes from their peers,” Allen said. “It’s almost like the statement is encouraging what our website wants to accomplish.”
Although the purpose of the website is to benefit students, Allen admits he can see potential problems with its implementation. Some users may choose to simply download notes from this website and never attend class. But, he does think it has some very practical applications.
“I can see the point of tension with people that would not want to go to class to take notes,” Allen said. “Say for example, before an exam the portal goes down, which is where professors usually house their notes and presentations. If there was another access point, it would be easier to work through not having any access to study material.”
The class also developed another website that acts as a way to sell books directly to other students on campus. Allen describes it as a way to avoid the bookstore’s buyback program, as well as any other online resource.
The website, called upcyclefsc.com, is completely student-monitored and limited to FSC. Its purpose is to avoid shipping costs and losing potential revenue on books.
“Students post the books they want to sell on the website with their contact information and get in touch with interested students on campus,” Allen said.
Allen acknowledged the potential conflict that comes with the territory of both of these websites.
“Conflict is always attached to certain things, but I think conflict is good because it generates an audience,” Allen said.
Other websites include lakelandhappyplace.com, a website showcasing what downtown Lakeland has to offer, and ursingles.co, a website where students can request videos or songs.