Photo illustration by Joe Rudko/The AS Review.


Courserank.com: Finding the perfect class

Kirsten O'Brien/The AS Review

The official description of Math 107, Math Reasoning & Applications, sounds very different from a student written definition on Courserank.com. The course description according to Classfinder reads like a non-math major’s worst nightmare, “Reading quantitative information, reasoning, personal finance, data display, summary, and assessing risk.”

The definition according to Courserank?: “Math for people who hate math. It was easy. I never went to class and pulled a B.”

Tailored specifically to Western, Courserank was launched in February of this year. Much like Ratemyprofessor.com, students can leave and read feedback about various courses and professors. But unlike Ratemyprofessor, Courserank also allows students to design mock class schedules, map their academic year with a planner, compare courses, view grade distributions and post questions about courses in a forum area. On the site, students can also view statistics on the highest-rated courses, the most popular courses and the courses with the most reviews.

Courserank is owned by an online textbook rental company called Chegg. There are more than 60 registered Western users on Courserank, and around 50 reviews. According to the site, the highest-rated course is Journalism 350, Mass Media Law, while the most popular course is Communications 339, Practicum in Applied Communication. Keep in mind however, that because Courserank is young, there are few reviews. COMM 339 is the most popular course based on only three ratings.

The beauty of Courserank is that it allows students to write reviews anonymously, which sometimes provides a much better description of a class than the sterile descriptions provided by Classfinder. The are reviews written by students for students, and many of them are definitely not sugar-coated.

“Waste of time class. He was always racing through the material so he could get to lunch,” reads a scathing review of a Geology 101 professor. “I didn’t even have time to take notes! Then he went on to make the tests as hard as he possibly could, when the lectures were so breezy. It was a strange combination.”

However, the reviews are not always negative and those highlighting good professors are almost as common as those highlighting bad ones.

“This class is perfect for anyone who is trying to decide if they want to be news-ed or PR tracked. You really get a sense of what PR is,” reads a review of an Introduction to Public Relations course. “This class helped me decide to be a PR major.”

Although Courserank website is still in its infancy, if more students register and write reviews, it may soon become a go-to source for those in search of the perfect class schedule.