New Web site to offer course info

CourseRank.com provides course reviews and tools to build schedules.

Luke Feuerherm

What began as a homework assignment at Stanford University has now spread to 21 universities nationwide and is receiving growing support at the University of Minnesota. CourseRank.com is a student planning platform that blends planning and class evaluation services provided by sites like Schedulizer.com and RateMyProfessors.com to aid students with class selection. âÄúCourseRankâÄôs role is to keep info up to date with what students want and what students need,âÄù said CourseRank Chief Financial Officer Idan Koren. CourseRank also plans to expand its services to include used book sales on its site. Its services are offered free of charge to university students, and it is run through each universityâÄôs student government. âÄú[CourseRank] said they would like to bring this Web site to the U through the student government,âÄù said Drake Nimz, the Minnesota Student Association officer in charge of CourseRank for Minnesota. âÄúAll we had to do is market it.âÄù NimzâÄôs advertising approach has been through Facebook. He set up a group and began inviting friends soon after the Web site launched at the end of last semester. There are around 2,000 University students on the site, and Nimz said MSA hopes to reach their goal of 4,500 members by the Jan. 26 deadline to add or drop classes. The site currently provides course reviews, grade distributions and tools to build studentsâÄô schedules. Users are also able to post course schedules to their Facebook page. âÄúIt is a useful tool,âÄù said James Kellison Jr., a senior cultural studies and comparative literature major. Kellison welcomes CourseRank to the University but worries that the University will make administrative decisions based on the evaluations, which he feels are inherently biased. âÄúPeople will say things online that they wonâÄôt say face-to-face or on a written evaluation,âÄù he said. Kellison also feels the site carries the same biases as other sites like RateMyProfessors.com. âÄúDoing a survey is a science,âÄù Kellison said. âÄúWhen I read up, I am able to make decisions about who is being vindictive.âÄù Other University students are embracing the new service because of what it offers in comparison to other sites. âÄúI think there are other sites that do the same thing,âÄù said first-year biology major Kayla Roden. âÄúBut I think I like this one the best.âÄù MSA will continue marketing the Web-based service via Facebook and plans to use one of the limited University-wide e-mails allotted to MSA to advertise the service.