Site offers new course evaluations

first_imgAn academic reviewing website, MyEdu, now grants USC students access to its online database that provides users with course reviews, professor ratings, degree requirements and general school information.Before this semester, MyEdu charged students a fee for its various services, but now offers free access.“[We] enable the students to provide the information based on experience. Any official information we obtain is accessible to the public, but we focus on making it available in one easy-to-use website,” Kathryn Walker, a public relations associate for MyEdu, wrote in an e-mail.However, because USC is a private university, MyEdu is not able to obtain access to official grade records of the offered classes. MyEdu granted USC students access to its services independent of USC.“We do not work with USC administrators or faculty/staff but rather enable the students to provide the information based on experience. Any official information we obtain is accessible to the public, but we focus on making it available in one easy-to-use website,” Walker wrote.Walker said she believes that the site is able to provide the essential information, regardless.“I think it’s great that this has become openly available to USC students. I know so many people who rearrange their schedule once the semester starts because a class either didn’t live up to their expectations or they didn’t like the way the professor taught them,” said Julia Raynsford, a junior majoring in political science.About two years ago, the Undergraduate Student Government launched a new course guide based on student responses. In addition, the university provides student feedback online based on class evaluation forms given at the end of every course, but not all students find those services sufficient.“I wish USC had started using a program like [MyEdu] a long time ago,” said Natalie Mahdavi, a senior majoring in communication. “It definitely could have helped me pick out not only classes for my major but interesting electives as well.”MyEdu is also expanding into the social media world, working with Facebook to enhance  services to students. One such service is MyEdu’s new version of its Facebook application called “Schedule Planner,” which allows students to see what classes their friends are taking as well as post their own schedule.“Our new and improved schedule planner … also includes a ‘magic schedule maker’ that automatically plans classes based on courses a student inputs into their degree timeline,” Walker wrote.MyEdu was founded 10 years ago by three people looking to improve the way  students register for classes at Texas A&M University. Chris Chilek, John Cunningham and Michael Crosno created the website specifically to access professors’ grade histories to give them a better idea of what courses would be a good choice for them.The website quickly spread throughout the university, with more than 800 users in the first two months alone. It then expanded throughout various universities in Texas and is now being used by more than 750 universities and colleges nationwide, making it the largest database of academic information in the United States.“About two years ago, we found that there was a lot more we could do to help students than just find professors,” Chilek said.last_img read more