Student develops Android app to help manage course registration
A time of great anxiety, stress and confusion, otherwise known as course registration, has been made simpler for college students.
"Rutgers Course Tracker," an Android application similar to Aaron Rosenheck and Mike Melchione's "Rutgers Course Watcher," became available for students to install beginning on Feb. 27. This application enables users to track courses for current or upcoming semesters.
Tevin Jeffrey, a developer, designer and tech enthusiast and a Rutgers-Newark junior majoring in computer science, created the app in mere days when he found his classes had closed and desperation kicked in shortly before the spring semester started.
“The course tracking solutions I found on the web were either paid or focused on the New Brunswick campus, leaving me, a Rutgers-Newark student, with few options,” Jeffrey said. “So I decided to create my own.”
With "Rutgers Course Tracker," the user is able to view courses, track sections and be instantly notified of the status of the section. It is available to Rutgers students for the Newark, New Brunswick and Camden campuses.
“Primarily, the app allows students to subscribe to course openings, but it also allows the user to see information about any course, including the instructors, meeting times and even class size, all in a beautiful, easy to use interface,” Jeffrey said.
The course that a user “watches” will have a logo of an eye which will notify the student on the status of a class every 60 seconds. Students can also manually check the status of watched courses by clicking on the logo. Open courses appear highlighted in green and closed courses appear in red.
Users receive the best chance of enrolling in a class with the constant updates sent straight to their emails or cell phones.
“I owe the speed at which the app was developed to the many open source libraries I used during development,” Jeffrey said. “As such, the app itself is open source for any person, to edit, view and to serve as a guide for Android development using Rutgers servers.”
He chose an Android platform for financial reasons, he said. There are no upfront costs for development compared to an iOS device, where a yearly fee would be necessary.
Jeffrey said he would feel guilty putting a price tag on something he had so much fun working on.
“Since the app is quite small, I can use it to try and test the latest technologies in a real world environment,” he said. “As I grow as a software developer, that progress will be reflected in the app free of charge.”
Jeffrey said he hopes to bring a version to iOS devices in the future. He also wants to write a server backend, enabling students to have near instantaneous notifications.
Students have shown great interest in the app because of their many difficulties when registering for classes.
“An application such as this one would benefit me along with many other students because with the simple click of a button, I would be able to track all the classes I am trying to register for,” said Shahar Platt, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.
First-year students have the last choice for courses and many are excited to download the app.
“As a freshman, it is really difficult to get into classes that I want,” Platt said. “Tracking what is open and what is not would be very helpful.”
Danielle Alter, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, agreed.
“As an underclassman, registering for courses can be really tough,” Alter said. “By the time students with more credit than me register, classes begin to close and getting into the courses I need gets frustrating.”
Upperclassmen students also found great interest in the app because they struggle to find the courses needed to complete all their requirements when registration opens.
Samantha Moyal, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, has the advantage of registering earlier.
Moyal said although she has no problems registering, she still struggles with finding information on classes she is genuinely interested in considering her hectic student athlete schedule and upcoming graduation.
“I can’t wait to be able to use this app so I can really master registration this coming semester,” Moyal said.