June 15, 2010

Smarter browsing of General Catalog program descriptions

By admin

What topics are covered in PSYCH 101? Are differential equations covered in MATH 307 or MATH 308? Can I get into ACCT 225 before I’ve taken ECON 200? Who’s teaching LING 450 the next time it’s offered?

These and similar questions about program offerings at the UW are commonly asked by current and prospective students, as well as advisers and faculty. Starting today, finding answers to those questions just got a lot easier. The Office of the University Registrar just updated its listing of the UW’s Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Degree Programs in the General Catalog. It’s now possible to learn the answers to the questions above with just a click or two. (And if you were curious, the answers are: personality, learning, memory, etc.; MATH 307; No, ECON 200 is a pre-req for ACCT 225; and Richard A. Wright is teaching LING 450 in AUT2010).

All course references within these program descriptions are now clickable; doing so brings up an in-page window (clicking anywhere other than the in-page window will dismiss it). Displayed within is a lot of useful information about the course:

  1. Full name, credits, and Area(s) of Knowledge it satisfies;
  2. Catalog description; and
  3. Links to its curriculum prefix in both the UW Course Catalog and Time Schedule for the upcoming registration quarter.

This unobtrusive way of displaying additional course information will help everyone better understand a program’s admission and degree requirements. No longer will you have to open a second web browser to look up information about the courses listed as requirements.

A quick technical note: this functionality is possible through the use of UW Information Technology’s Student Web Services initiative, which also powers the Course Catalog search, web grading, the m.UW iPhone app, photo class lists, and other web applications appearing across the campus.

One Response to “Smarter browsing of General Catalog program descriptions”

  1. Mary Rivard says:

    My I offer my suggestion (from a serious photographer and graphic artist, and Curriculum Program Coordinator for School of Nursing)…. DO NOT pollute The Mountain (that icon, Mt. Rainier) with Registrar text on your main webpage.
    That ruins your presumed intent to show off the mountain view — while abusing that view for UW text display.
    Please, either shrink the landscape, or enlarge sky with text above the mountain. Sincerely, Mary Rivard

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