Dull fonts and complex search bars make CDCS difficult to use. Rate My Professor is cluttered with ads and only provides student comments.
So juniors Vitumbiko Kambilonje and Shuting Liang created Courscio to provide a platform that centralizes course information to allow students to make more informed course decisions.
Features include a search bar, course titles, professor names, course CRN numbers, and the ability to add courses to a mock schedule and export it directly to Google Calendar. Under each course description, users can find an example syllabus, past student reviews, and professor information. Courscio also provides the professor’s past publications, education background, and a direct link to their personal website or research page.
The idea for the platform originated when Kambilonje and Liang were discussing how the current course scheduling system could function better. They noticed student frustration when navigating other course websites and disliked how “student review” websites were extremely biased. Liang explained that often the student opinions commented only on the professor rather than the course content. “The value of the course should not be directly related to the value of the professor as a person,” Kambilonje said.
When developing the prototype, the design team needed creativity in naming their service. After finding that their original name idea was already claimed, Jade Fung, a junior and one of the developers, suggested something catchy: “Scio is the Latin verb for ‘to know,’ so Courscio literally means ‘to know your courses.’”
Working with the Rochester-based Venture Jobs Foundation over the course of nine weeks, the Courscio team has received mentorship advice from large investors and past CEOs. Upon completion of this business accelerator program, the team will present the Courscio prototype “Shark Tank-style,” to a panel of investors who may choose to financially support the start-up. Among the other groups in the accelerator program, Courscio is the one of the few student-run entrepreneurial groups.
Within three weeks, the team went from developing an idea to creating the prototype and conducting initial user testing. During spring break, the team of nine met every day from 2 p.m. to midnight, working 10 hours a day on their project. Fueled by the goal of creating the best user experience, the team took various prototype design options to Douglass Dining Hall and surveyed students table by table for opinions.
Next week, the Courscio website will go live, with all the Fall 2019 courses.