Cracking Drexel’s schedule system | The Triangle

Cracking Drexel’s schedule system

Students design user-friendly web app to combat class registration headache

Edited by Jeremy Snyder
Edited by Jeremy Snyder

Schedulr, located at, is a web app that Nishtha Dalal, an informatics and information systems major, and Tushar Soni, a computer science major, created after recognizing the need for a more efficient and global method Drexel students could use to help plan their new schedules each term.

The web app was launched July 26 at midnight. Dalal and Soni shared the link to Schedulr on Facebook just before scheduling time tickets for Fall Quarter 2015 were to begin the next day. Throughout the night alone they received over 150 hits and within the next week that number rose to upwards of 1000.

The creators commented in an email that the entire project took less than two weeks of condensed time, though the total project was completed over a few months.

“The biggest challenge was to get the data for the courses and be able to update it frequently enough. Once we overcame that hurdle, we were able to power through the rest of it quickly,” Dalal and Soni wrote in an email to The Triangle.

Schedulr is simple to use and spits out all of the possible different combinations of a schedule one might be interested in. The classes one wishes to take are found by searching for a course code or title, added to a list and finally compiled into a variety of unique schedule options the student may flick through. Each option comes equipped with a unique corresponding list of Course Registration Numbers that the student can easily copy down. The app also links students directly to the pages that are listed for individual courses on the Term Master Schedule, allowing students to check the enrollment numbers.

Victoria Smith, a sophomore, found the app one morning and immediately told several of her friends about it. “You [don’t] have to look at the term master schedule, ever,” Smith said. “It gives you 300 options and the CRN’s all at once.” She noted several key features of the web app.

Other students are just as enthralled with the easy-to-use forum that Schedulr provides. Chemistry sophomore Gina Vitale commented on the app saying, “It makes scheduling enjoyable.”

Due to the immediate success of the app, Dalal and Soni are planning to update the interface for each consecutive term following the end of the registration periods.

“There is no doubt that we will update it every quarter for the upcoming terms,” the e-mail continued. “However, students being able to plan their entire school year’s schedule is a whole new set of features.”

They went on to note that updating the app so that Drexel students could plan all their quarters throughout the year yields several hurdles. It would require accurate postings for the yearly schedule of available classes from the university. A feat which is difficult, the creators note, because the course offerings keep changing.

“We are also concerned that students would make their schedules and depend on it, only to find out that it’s not viable anymore due to these changes,” Dalal and Soni expanded in the e-mail. Additionally, they’ve begun working with Drexel Office of Information, Resources and Technology to see whether or not it’s possible to set up the app to let students plan out schedules for the entire year, rather than one term at a time.

These plans match a claim from some students that the app doesn’t do enough as it currently stands.

Rose Grieve, a sophomore chemistry major, said that the app falls short of scheduling expectations.

“It lacks the personal touch because it can’t automatically take into account preferences such as what time of day the student prefers to take classes,” Grieve complained.

Additionally, the high volume of possible schedule outcomes was off-putting to Grieve. “It can be a lot of effort looking through all the options to find a suitable schedule,” she commented.

Luckily, Dalal and Soni’s plans for fixing the app in the future seem to address most students’ complaints, including Grieve’s.

Many more new features are in the works for Schedulr. Dalal and Soni have plans to include pre- and co-requisite listings for classes, as well as a feature to let students narrow results based on individual preferences.

“Our main goal is to let the student find their perfect schedule,” Dalal and Soni’s email said. “This is simpler when the student has fewer possible schedules because finding the right one in thousands can be a tough task. Newer features will focus on solving this particular problem and giving students the power to narrow down their preferences further,” it continued.

Although the web app has proved to be mobile friendly to most users, so far there are no plans to expand the platform to a mobile app. The information running on the web app will apply to the Fall 2015 term until the current registration period ends in late August.