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Schedule Planner updated

By Jennifer Shen     3/29/12 7:00pm

Scott Cutler, creator of Schedule Planner and professor in the Practice of Computer Technology, has added a few functionalities to Schedule Planner since its debut last semester.

The biggest addition to Schedule Planner is that it now shows the complete class and instructor evaluations, including student comments as they are shown on ESTHER. Cutler said it was the most-requested feature from students.

The course evaluation as it would appear on ESTHER, complete with student comments, is shown if the user clicks on the course number in the CRN field.

The user can also see the evaluations of the course from previous semesters. The instructor evaluation with student comments is shown if the user clicks on the instructor's name. The user can also switch between class and instructor evaluations.

According to Cutler, students may not be able to see the complete evaluations if they list their directory information as private.

Full evaluations are only available to students and faculty at Rice, and Schedule Planner confirms each user's identity as a student, faculty or staff using the public directory.

Cutler said if students encounter problems with viewing evaluations, they can either set their information as public on ESTHER, or email Cutler directly for help.

Schedule Planner now also shows the location of each class, if it is announced. Other additions include the number of students on the waitlist.

"I have gotten tremendous positive feedback [on Schedule Planner]," Cutler said. "Statistics on it have been pretty amazing."

According to Cutler, there are a total of 2,978 Schedule Planner users, mostly undergraduates, and up to 1,369 users used it within one hour during its peak.

Cutler noted that for registration in the fall, the information on Schedule Planner, which comes directly from the Registrar's Office, disappeared for about 15 minutes a couple of hours before registration, when the Registrar's Office was getting ready for the registration process.

"Don't panic if your [information] goes away for a few minutes," Cutler said. "It will be back on soon, like within 10 minutes."

Baker College freshman Jeremy Hunt said he really appreciated Schedule Planner but also had some suggestions.

"It was really well done for the most part. It was a heck of a lot better than trying to use ESTHER," Hunt said. "A couple small things were that [...] it pulls up all the classes [a] department has, which can be too large if the department is big. Some sort of search feature would be nice."

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