UT-Austin students develop website to make information about courses, professors more accessible

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Photo Credit: Barbra Daly | Daily Texan Staff

After registering for classes in the spring, three UT students decided to create UTexas Review, a website that condenses information about courses and professors to help students make informed decisions when registering for classes. 

Students Andy Ni, Iris Zhang and Yangle Xue finished programming the website Aug. 20, which provides a database of information for over 18,000 courses and 5,000 professors. Computer science junior Ni said the website includes course prerequisites, student and eCIS reviews, grade distributions for courses and professors and course schedule listings. 

“While I was registering for classes for the fall semester, I thought it would be really useful if I had other students' opinions to see how difficult or useful it was and decide whether or not to take it,” said Zhang, an electrical and computer engineering junior.

Students currently have access to UT Registration Plus, a Google Chrome extension that gives students access to grade distributions, eCIS ratings and past syllabi, and Rate My Professor, a website that provides student ratings for professors at universities across the country. 

Ni said UT Review differs from these programs because it includes reviews about professors and individual courses with more in-depth comments than eCIS reports. Students must use their UTexas email account to use the website.

 

“For courses, students can rate them on usefulness, difficulty and workload,” Zhang said.  “Students can rate professors on clarity, how engaging they are and how strict their grading is.”

They did not import reviews from Rate My Professor, so some professors and courses do not have reviews yet, but Ni said all other information updates daily. 

“We all created the metrics and ratings based on our own experience,” said Xue, an electrical and computer engineering sophomore. “We had to ask, ‘What would be useful for the typical UT student to know?’”

Colin Wang, a computer science sophomore at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, assisted the students with creating the program after the resources offered at his own university inspired him.

Once the website was published, students could test the application and offer critiques on its strengths and weaknesses. Physics sophomore Jonathan Tebo said he will use UTexas Review in the future.

“It’s really nicely put together, has an intuitive feel, and contains pretty much every piece of information I could possibly need or want,” Tebo said. “It has UT specific information about courses offered here, not just professors’ reviews.”