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I know that students are already half-way through the fall semester, but don’t you think it’s about time to start thinking about the spring? (Even though you may not like the fact that it’s about to happen, just know that it’s a good thing to be prepared.)
Sure, we’ve talked a little bit about instructor ratings here on MakeUseOf before, but surely there’s something a little better out there. Fortunately, I’ve found found a little site called Koofers, and with over 4000 universities using it nationwide, you know that it’s your all-access pass to professor reviews, study tips, and more.
A Review On Reviews
As just a personal preference, if I’m going to any third-party website concerning my university, I’m only really going to go there to check out the professor reviews. With Koofer’s you can definitely do this using their 5-star rating program complete with personal student reviews. Granted, you should keep in mind that any online university review is biased, so use your judgement when taking into consideration the opinions of others. Sometimes a person who is a poor student will simply blame the teacher, but other times the professor is just that pitiful.
Fortunately, there is another system in place in which you and others can actually rate the reviews. If a review doesn’t seem legitimate (or the reviewer only gave the professor his stars and wrote nothing else), you can click whether or not his input was useful. Koofers will place the most helpful reviews at the top of the list, and from there, you can get a pretty solid understanding of what the professor is actually like.
As always, I like to take a look at the search system of a website simply because if you have a bad search function, then it’s likely the website is poor as well. Koofers allows you to search by class, instructor, and even class by instructor. Yes, you may hear a horrible review about a professor’s 2020 class. However, if you click over to his 2030 class, there may be glowing reviews. That’s a pretty good thing, in my opinion.
The Campus Online
Another element of Koofers is its desire to bring the campus online. Part of me doesn’t necessarily like this feature, for it seems to pass itself off as a weak social networking system that is supposed to bring the classroom to the tubes. The idea in theory is wonderful, but since Koofers’ users probably already communicate via Facebook (or in at least my case, do not communicate at all), there isn’t really much of a place for it. However, with elements such as the “class wall” which allows you to post messages to your fellow students, I am positive others could make use of it.
Despite the in-house social networking attempt, Koofers does an excellent job of integrating with Facebook. Simply sign in with your account, and when you start adding classes to your schedule, you will be able to connect with your classmates and be able to communicate with them via Facebook as well. The only downside to this is the practically forced option of Facebook. You can sign up with your email address only, but you will miss out on some features such as building your class schedule and communicating with fellow students.
In addition to the class community building, Koofers also allows you to share notes, videos, and flashcards with all your classmates so that you can work on studying together. Besides this – and I’m not sure how ethical it is – the website also allows past students to post old tests, quizzes, and exams on the site itself. Is it likely that the professor will change the test each semester? Yes. Is it also likely that he won’t? Yes.
Some Spiffy Tools
Besides all the basic stuff focused on your educational enrichment, Koofers also has set up a portion of its site in which you can buy or sell textbooks. So if you really want to go see that Deathcab concert, you have a place to sell your books even if it’s the middle of the semester. (No guarantee that anyone will buy, though.) Besides this, there is even a GPA Calculator for people like myself who often think, “Well. If I make a C in here, and if I make a B in there, I can still come out with a 3.25!”
Also, if you’re feeling a little studied out, Koofers supposedly has a variety of web games to play. However, while working on this review, I noticed that the games actually didn’t load… Chances are that they may not actually work, but that doesn’t take away from the functionality of the rest of the site.
Being a university student, I can definitely see where Koofers could help me out. As an endnote, you should know there is even a karma system based on information sharing, so you can use this to know who is reliable on Koofers. Also, whether you are a student yourself or if you know one, this is a nice website that should definitely be shared with the rest of the world, so pass the word on.
What other sites do you use to aid you in class selection and studying? What do you think of Koofers online university reviews?