SGA integrates syllabus feature in Course Critique

The Course Critique website was recently renovated by SGA to include a syllabus option, where previous year’s syllabuses can be found. // Photo by Dani Sisson Student Publications

Over the past few months, SGA has been working on integrating a syllabus repository into Course Critique ­— a grade distribution platform maintained by student developers at SGA — so that students can have the opportunity to look at past syllabi for the courses they are interested in. This feature is now live. 

On this platform, upon looking up a particular class, students can view a list of professors who teach that class, along with information such as the course’s average GPA, the course’s grade distribution and a link to the professor’s Rate My Professor page.

Course Critique is frequently used by members of the Tech community, especially around the add/drop period, when students are making decisions about the courses and professors they want to choose.

“I use [Course Critique] to compare between professors or even different courses that I want to take,” said Alexander Goebel, third-year CS major. 

“I’ll take a look at course critique and just see generally how well students seem to do in different courses. And then I’ll use that knowledge ­— and frequently also Rate My Professor — to figure out the sense of a given professor.”

Over the past few years, however, there have been calls for Course Critique to expand the information it offers about professors and courses so that students can make more informed decisions.

Now, students will notice that some of the entries have an icon of a book with a ribbon on it next to them. 

This symbol indicates that a copy of the syllabus from that professor’s course is now available. 

“I saw the notice on the website and was like, ‘Wow, do they have that yet?’ 

“I’m really looking forward to when I can access it and use it, because I think the syllabus is really how you know what to expect from a course, and it surely has the tone of the course in it,” said Goebel.

“I think it’ll be very useful to figure out both what I would be doing in the course as well as what the professor might be like.”

The syllabus repository relies upon crowd sourcing to collect syllabi from previous semesters. It is up to students to submit syllabi from the classes they have taken for others to refer to. 

Syllabi are protected by SSO login, and are able to be accessed by any Tech student. If students have syllabi from courses they have taken within the past two years, they can upload them to the Qualtrics survey linked on Course Critique’s homepage. 

Course Critique also posted the survey from its Reddit account on r/gatech. In addition, any questions or concerns about the new feature can be directed to [email protected].