New CourseRank Web site details classes, professors

CourseRank, launched in November by CourseRank Inc. and IUSA, provides students with features comparable to that of OneStart’s Student Center. It also gives students the opportunity to rate courses, create a potential schedule and view course descriptions and grade distributions.

Students cannot “rate” individual professors but can see a list of professors who have taught each class.

IUSA Executive Director of Technology and sophomore Neil Kelty said CourseRank Inc. approached IUSA about endorsing the CourseRank Web site for IU. Kelty said the Web site was up and running within a week of receiving IUSA’s endorsement.

“It’s available to just use CourseRank for classes, rather than the kind of archaic system the University has,” Kelty said.

Class registration cannot be completed through CourseRank, but students can construct a class schedule and look at course descriptions. Registration is still only available through the OneStart Student Center.

Freshman Jowi Estava described her scheduling experiences with OneStart.

“I feel like it could probably have been better, but it’s pretty straightforward,” Estava said.

Although Estava said she was satisfied with the University’s scheduling service, she described a frustrating situation that resulted from a confusing class description.

Estava said she signed up for a course at the beginning of the spring semester with the mistaken belief that it was a history course. On her first day, Estava discovered the course was about “science and logic.”

“I dropped it because it was not a correct description,” Estava said.

According to CourseRank’s Web site, this is precisely the type of confusion the company aims to help students avoid by “streamlining the process of choosing the right courses for each student.”

CourseRank, Inc. established similar Web sites for 29 other universities across the country. After entering their school e-mail and a password, students are asked to submit a rating for three classes they have taken on their campus. After this initial submission, the site’s full features are available to students at no cost.

In fact, the site doesn’t cost IUSA anything either.

Kelty said CourseRank might eventually provide students with a “premium” option for which they would be charged. However, Kelty said the basic CourseRank Web site will remain free to students.

IUSA’s Executive Director of Public Relations and junior Liz Billman said IUSA agreed to support CourseRank even though it is not officially endorsed by the University.
“They came to us, and it was something I know I can use,” Billman said.

Billman said she likes the fact that the site combines elements of OneStart, such as schedule building and course descriptions, with student reviews and grade distributions.

“I would encourage every student to at least check their courses out through CourseRank,” Kelty said.

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