If you are tired of flipping back and forth between Penn Course Review and Penn InTouch, three Penn students might have a solution.
Engineering junior Fifi Yeung and College junior Jonathan Dubin have worked together on a Penn InTouch add-on, which they call Penn Course Plus. It integrates the faculty and class ratings that students can find on Penn Course Review into the Penn InTouch interface. This way students can register for classes on the same page that they review ratings.
Also available on the add-on is the option to open an interactive scheduler in a separate window, allowing students to search for more courses while looking at their tentative schedule.
Fifi and Dubin have nearly 1,000 student users, who have downloaded the app through Google Chrome.
“Students are seeing a need for this because it’s so difficult to get what you want out of Penn InTouch,” Yeung said. “We hope eventually Penn will adapt and use this in their own system.”
University administrators have been open to student additions to Penn InTouch, unlike administrators at Yale University who blocked a student-created replacement to their course selection software. Yale claimed the software infringed on their trademark.
While Penn Course Plus is the most popular hack for Penn’s class registration, it has its drawbacks, including the inability to sort by department.
Engineering freshman Benjamin Bernstein developed his own add-on he calls Penn Course Search.
Penn Course Search has a lot of the same features as Penn Course Plus, including teacher ratings and an interactive mock scheduling window, yet it does not allow students to directly register through the interface.
“Fifi’s app is similar to mine in terms of making the schedule, and we are in close contact,” Berstein said. “We may share ideas to make them both better.”
Bernstein has also been in contact with a friend in Penn Labs, the student-run group responsible for Penn Course Review and the PennMobile App, to see if they can help make his app more widely used by students. Bernstein also hopes to add an auto-scheduler to his app that would produce different possible schedules that could work with the classes users want to take.
These two apps are not the only tools useful to students during registration. Penn Course Notify will email students when a class they are trying to get into is open. Penn Course Monkey has a similar feature but will notify users via text message.
Student schedules for the Fall 2015 semester will be posted today at 10 a.m.
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