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Saturday, Dec 3, 2022

MiddCourses to return to campus before J-Term registration

MiddCourses, an anonymous, student-run course review and recommendations site for Middlebury students, will be returning in the near future. The site was shut down in 2021 because the software used to create the website was outdated.

The Middlebury Development Club (MiddDev) has been working since the website went down to restore it. The new MiddCourses was developed in Node and Typescript and re-coded from scratch. Project lead Nicholas Sliter ’23 is currently doing an independent study devoted to restoring the website. He is hoping for a launch within the next week, before winter term registration.

The new MiddCourses site will function in a similar way to the old site. Students will review two courses and then they will be able to view all recommendations for the next semester, with the exception of 100-level courses which will be viewable by all students. “Eventually, I’ll be implementing a recommendations system that will take all of the reviews a student inputs and then give them recommendations for courses they should take in the future,” Sliter said.

Since the website went down in spring of 2021, students have turned to alternative sites and word of mouth to try to evaluate which courses they should take.

“There’s no good alternative solution. MiddKid is out of date. RateMyProfessor doesn't really work in the same way because you don't rate courses, just professors,” said Sliter.

The information on MiddCourses included summaries of assignments, grading difficulty and anecdotes about classes.

“As a Feb orientation leader I felt like I was giving students so much information about classes, but I wish I could have referred them to a better site with more opinions than just my own,” Meredith Hespe ’23 said.

Greta Bishop ’24.5 also expressed excitement at the return of MiddCourses.

“It will be really helpful when selecting courses to know what the workload will be like and what the atmosphere of the class is like. I wish I had this resource earlier.” Bishop said.

Sliter said a beta test is underway to catch bugs before the site’s official launch.

“I didn't have it for long before it disappeared so that was unfortunate,” Silter said, referring to the old site. “It’s fun to build things, and I see there’s a lot of value here so why don’t I build it.”


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