Michelle Larkin
For Mitzpeh

Kedma, the Orthodox Jewish organization on campus, created a course guide for students to figure out which classes to take. Photo courtesy of Michelle Larkin.

Don’t know which professor or class to take next semester? A new course guide marketing toward the Orthodox Jewish community might provide some help.

Around March, Deena Karger, a freshman kinesiology major and Kedma member, created a course guide for students to share their experiences about the different classes they have taken. She wanted to create something where students, especially in the Jewish community, could help each other and came up with the idea of the course guide before she came to this university.

“I wanted an easier way for others to see which classes are fun and interesting, which professors are good and how much work there is in each class,” she said. “My main motivation was to gather all this information in one space.” 

As of right now, all of the 21 courses in the guide are 100- and 200-level courses, including COMM107, PSYC100 and CHEM241. Karger hopes junior and senior students will fill out their experiences so that the course guide will include upper-level courses as well. 

Karger said she was “over the embarrassment” of being a freshman and not knowing which professor or course to take, so she hoped the course guide could help other freshman and sophomore students during course selection, especially for general education courses. 

She first posted the course guide on the Kedma Facebook group to “get it going” and has plans to send the course guide to other groups so students beyond the Kedma can share their experiences.

“I’ve asked a lot of people in the Kedma community, and everyone can probably agree that having it all on one Google sheet page is a great way to share your experiences in a course,” Karger said.

Jacquelyn Leffel, a junior human development major and president of Kedma, who is also the Social Media editor for Mitzpeh, mentioned that when she first saw the course guide posted in the Kedma group, she immediately thought it was a better way of sharing information about a course than passing information by word of mouth.

“A lot of Kedma members often ask other members which class and professor to take, so the course guide is just a way to compile all of that data so you don’t ever have to post and wait for a response,” Leffel said. “And when you’re a freshman, you might not know anything and it may be a really good resource.”

Karger said that this course guide is different from other course registration resources such as RateMyProfessor.com and PlanetTerp.com because students can see who exactly took the course and contact them through Facebook, making it “more personal.” Students can also submit their reviews anonymously, but Karger recommends adding some form of contact information so others can reach out to learn more about a class.

“At least you’ll know them a little bit more than a random unnamed source,” she said. “You don’t know a student’s work ethic on RateMyProfessor.com or PlanetTerp.com.”

Leffel added that the reviews on the course guide are not nearly as outdated as the reviews on RateMyProfessor.com or PlanetTerp.com. This makes the Kedma course guide more “relevant” and “up-to-date.” 

Each class review in the course guide also shows what general education requirement it fulfills, which professor taught it, the workload and what to expect when it comes to tests and assigned readings. There’s no word limit or restriction in the course guide, which also makes it different from other review websites. 

Scott Sandor, a sophomore neuroscience major, is one of the Kedma members who contributed to the course guide by filling out his experiences in two of the courses he has taken. He believes that Karger’s course has a broader impact on the Jewish community at this university.

“I think it’s a great resource to have in the Jewish community,” he said. “It’s a testament to how close and connected our community is and how people really look out for each other.” 

Students can access the course guide here and fill out their experiences if they’d like.


Blog at WordPress.com.