Facebook Application Reveals Department GPAs

Similar to Pick-a-Prof, CampusBuddy Application Also Compiles GPAs of Academic Departments

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UC Berkeley students now have yet another way to access course and classmate information online, thanks to the new CampusBuddy application on Facebook that was launched earlier this month.

The no-cost resource allows students to submit feedback about professors, much like ratemyprofessors.com. Similar to Pick-a-Prof, it also reveals grade breakdowns by class.

But unlike the others, CampusBuddy has compiled an average GPA for each department on campus based on grades from their total classes. Students can now compare the average grades for the gender and women's studies department (3.49) with those in molecular cell biology (2.96).

CampusBuddy has reported grades from all classes with 10 or more students, analyzing information that was gathered from official UC Berkeley records. Since it was recently launched, it does not yet have many student comments about professors.

As of yesterday, more than 300 UC Berkeley students had added the CampusBuddy application to their Facebook profiles.

Avis Hinkson, campus director of the office of undergraduate advising, said she hopes students will not solely rely on CampusBuddy, or any other single source, for all of their information.

"This will be one source of information that students will use in complement with other sources to make decisions about choosing a major," she said. "It would be my hope that other sources of information would include conversations with an undergraduate major advisor in that department along with peers and faculty."

To encourage participation, the Web site has an honors system that rewards users with points when they refer the application to friends or comment on a professor. Those who accumulate points receive benefits like access to the most recent grades well before other students, according to Mike Moradian, the founder of CampusBuddy.

Moradian worked for three years with a dozen other workers to launch this new application, which allows users to connect with students enrolled in the same classes.

"It's meant to be a platform for students to build upon," he said.

Since March 2007, the ASUC has partnered with Pick-a-Prof, which offers information customized for UC Berkeley students. Carlo de la Cruz, academic affairs vice president of the ASUC, said he did not think it would be replaced by CampusBuddy.

"This new application does not represent any new problems with Pick-a-Prof and our partnership, it's not at jeopardy at all," he said. "The ASUC is working hard to improve service for Pick-a-Prof, so I hope students take that into consideration."

Freshman Julia Namgoong has added the CampusBuddy application, but said it will be one of the many Web sites she'll use to plan her schedule.

"I'll probably use all of them," she said. "I'm sure not everyone uses the same site."

Tags: FACEBOOK


Contact Leslie Toy at [email protected]



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