Sriramya Ghanta, UG 21
Students at Ashoka are provided with a wide range of courses to choose from every semester. It can prove to be a difficult task to narrow down one’s choices. Akhil Kumar and Dhruv Khandelwal from the undergraduate batch of 2021 have designed a website, Recourse, to help students with reviewing and choosing courses. This website can prove to be especially beneficial for incoming first-year students. Akhil and Dhruv shared their experiences in the process of designing and launching their website to help students.
How did it all start?
Akhil: We had this idea in our first year at Ashoka. We were all struggling to find seniors to talk to about the courses. We thought the process could be much easier if there was a platform where the classes are rated. It was all Dhruv. The idea never really took off, but then, the summer of 2020 happened. We were all stuck at home, bored, and Dhruv suggested that we should take this up now.
How would this website function in terms of the reviews needed?
Akhil: I think we started mid-April and spent a lot of time figuring out our metrics. We spent some time on course rating, course difficulty, and deciding whether these would be out of five or ten. If you look at Recourse, our professor’s rating is an aggregate of all the courses that they have offered. We were wondering if we wanted to have a space where students could review the professors themselves, but that wasn’t really what we were aiming for. We wanted students to have a platform where they could objectively review and choose courses from.
Dhruv: We haven’t really done well in gathering reviews. All we have done is send out an email to the student body. I think we launched at the wrong time. We should have launched it at the end of the spring semester maybe. I guess no one’s been using their laptops or checking their emails so we haven’t got the outreach we need.
What do you envision for the website in the future?
Akhil: I see students using this website, probably, a couple of times a year. In terms of how we want to take this product forward, there were a few things that we wanted to do. We launched this prematurely because the pre-registration dates had come out suddenly. This was also the time when our Facebook groups were flooded with messages and queries about courses and professors. So we thought people needed this now and we decided that we would put it out even if it isn’t entirely done. Moreover, I think most of the work happened in the last week. We finished up all the functionalities and made it look decent and put it out, hoping that it would help people.
We thought we can make the process easier for students if there is a course picker, where students choose their classes and the website shows you the clashes in your timetable. This way, students can easily organise their schedules and decide what courses to choose. We are hoping to make this a new addition to the website.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your project?
Akhil: All I would like to say is, to the people reading The Edict, can you please go to our website and write some reviews? It would really help the incoming students navigate the academic life at Ashoka. Also, some new reviews would really make us feel good about our project.
You can find all the information on courses as well as course ratings at http://www.recourseashoka.com/.