One day, we had a thought about our uni course planner and said to ourselves: How come our course plannner is really bad, inefficient and poorly designed? We decided that for the hackathon, we should come up with our own style of course planner which is user friendly and has a lovely interface of a simple drag and drop interface. We learnt as a team how to collaborate really well and built off our idea through bootstrap, flask and MySQL. The challenges we faced was having to learn how to use all these tools and in particular, running into issues having to download and install the necessary requirements to build this web app
The problem statement Whilst universities are a place to broaden our learning and grow as individuals, there can be many tiresome processes students must take in order to enrol into university. One such issue is the lack of clarity of many universities course progression outline and how changes can be made to this progression. As a result many students struggle to plan out their courses and do not satisfy their course requirements which can have some dire consequences. Switching majors, changing degrees, going on exchange or failing a unit can lead to a change in a student’s course progression that needs to be addressed often by the student alone. Often students need to stay at uni for an extra semester after expected graduation or delay their progression which can be expensive and time consuming for students. Only 2/3 of students are completing their degrees within 6 years (Federal Government 2017). The process of determining a course progression which differs from the standard outline is also extremely time consuming. This is where Course Mapper comes in.
Target Market Course mapper is a degree progression planning website for students to make degree planning easy to understand and more flexible than current university processes. Initially our target market will be University of Sydney Students but we plan to expand our website to all universities in NSW, and then Australia.
Value Proposition Course Mapper has value not only for students but for universities. For students, Course Mapper offers an easier alternative to plan their courses progression to suit their circumstances. This helps universities save money due as more student clarity on course progression will reduce the number of email enquiries regarding subject selection will save universities time and money and help reduce the email backlog during busy periods. Universities can also reduce training costs for staff normally required to know course information as this can now be automated by Course Mapper.
Our Prototype Our prototype is a website that uses a SQL database of subject information (unit of study name, semester run, campus etc) and prerequisites for each subjects. The prototype aims to organise these subjects such that the student is presented with a course progression outline based on their degree. The students can then drag and drop different subjects into various semesters, with the program alerting the user when a certain subject needs a prerequisite not currently in the subject list or if certain progression rules are not met. Whilst we were unable to complete the last feature this is the vision for our project in the long term.
Benefits of Course Mapper
- Easier for students to understand course progression and satisfy their course requirements.
- An overall reduction in time spent at university for all students. For universities - Having a smooth course progression can lead to the student’s continued enrolment until degree completion and potential re-enrolment into further Masters or PHD education in the same institution - Universities can save money from a reduction in training costs needed for course coordinators and career advisors - Decrease in the backlog of emails and questions about course progressions - Course Mapper can help exchange and international students determine their course structure which can help l leave a more positive impression of the university experience.
Finances We plan to charge universities for this service based on how many students sign up for the program. We will charge $50 per month per 100 students as well as a monthly service charge. This was chosen since this is the average cost of similar education management software and this model follows similar software payment structures. At the university of Sydney alone there are 33077 students this application has a lot of potential to generate income.