Thursday, April 25

Site reveals grades by professors

A Web site containing the grade distributions of professors in their courses from a host of universities and community colleges in California has been designed by Mike Moradi and UCLA alumnus Brandon Sos.

Early Saturday morning, the Campus Buddy Web site was launched.

Moradi and Sos were students themselves when they began the nearly four-year-long process of creating the site.

“We wanted to create a unique platform where students can view professors more objectively,” said Moradi.

The Campus Buddy Web site, financially funded by Moradi’s own salary, enables its users to create accounts, select a school, and access information about courses via department or professor.

Graphs show the percentage of each grade given in the course, and statistics, such as how many classes were analyzed, are also given. All professors in the particular department are listed, allowing each of their classes to be compared. Users can also rate professors on certain teaching aspects and give an explanation for their assessment.

The creators said that they were inspired in part by Bruin Walk, the Student Media Web site in which UCLA students can rate professors and post reviews about courses. The scope of the Campus Buddy Web site is broader: The colleges that it covers range from California State University Monterey Bay in Northern California to Oxnard College in the southern part of the state.

Though some students have said they are skeptical of the information given, the creators guarantee its authenticity. Accompanied by a team of 10 college students, they spent a year coordinating with school officials to retrieve the academic data, Moradi said.

“We’ve got over 8 million grades from 32 campuses (on the site). It’s 100 percent from the schools,” Moradi said. “Every one of those grades came officially from a campus.”

University officials confirmed a public request for academic information up to fall and spring quarters of 2006 was made.

College students looked forward to the release of the site, publicized on Facebook in the weeks prior.

“I probably would find it helpful. I wouldn’t rely on it too much, but … it’s a resource,” said Kevin Tan, a second-year undeclared student at UC San Diego.

While UCLA students may not be abandoning the well-used Bruin Walk Web site anytime soon, they now have the option of turning to Campus Buddy as an additional resource for information about professors and classes.

“I would use it. I use Bruin Walk and right now to find the right teachers,” said Christina Wong, a first-year chemical engineering student.

She added that as an engineering student, she does not have much of a choice when it comes to choosing professors or classes, but she would use the site when fulfilling general education requirements.

In the end, the creators say their purpose is to benefit the students, whose job prospects depend heavily on the grades they receive in college.

“As students you don’t get paid. Your salary’s your grade. Our goal is to create a better environment for students where they can make more informed decisions about the courses they take,” Moradi explained.

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