The Columns

Student-Designed Web App Helps W&L Students Plan Course Schedules

— by on September 12th, 2013

Thanks to some of their classmates, Washington and Lee University students have a new web application designed to make their schedule planning easier. Corsola: Scheduling Your Life allows students to choose their preferred courses and view potential schedule conflicts.

The application was designed during the 2013 spring term course Software Engineering via Web Applications by four students under the guidance of Sara Sprenkle, associate professor of computer science at W&L.

According to Sprenkle, it can be hard for students to see if courses conflict, for example only during lab time or only once a week. Corsola is designed so that students can select the courses they are interested in, see which courses conflict with each other and import that information into their calendar application. “You can’t put this information into Web Adviser (the University’s on-line registration program), but it’s a good way to plan your schedule then go to Web Advisor and actually register for the courses,” said Sprenkle.

Richard Marmostein, a senior computer science and economics major, worked on the application during his junior year and said that he definitely plans to use it himself every day. “It was nice working on something that I think people will use and appreciate,” he said. “It would have been nice to have had this application during my first year when I had a lot more choices and I was filling in the gaps, so I think it will be especially useful for first-year students.”

Of the four students who created Corsola, two were seniors who knew they would never benefit from the web application.  Phil Lisovicz, who graduated as a business and computer science major in 2013, explained that he felt the available schedule system was not very intuitive for students and that Corsola is easier to visualize and very intuitive. “It was definitely fun to build,” he said.

Sprenkle said that the web application was “a lot fancier than I expected. I gave the students the initial idea and they just ran with it and made up their own requirements of what they wanted it to do. For example, if you want to take one of three humanities classes, the program will show which one will fit into your schedule. I wasn’t expecting it to be able to do that and I expect that further features will be added in the future.”

Alexander Baca ’14 and Alicia Barger ’13 also worked on the Corsola project.

A simplified version of Corsola can be used as a Chrome extension: