Every year, hundreds of students are enrolling into Rutgers school of engineering, and a large fraction of those students are deciding on ECE as their particular major. These students need to follow and track their current course work in order to ensure that they have the proper requirements and credits to graduate on time. With constant change of students, help will always be needed in deciding what course to take or what prerequisites are needed for future planning. In order to help facilitate this, we created RUPlanner for all ECE students to use as a planning tool.
Our motivation or this project stemmed from two current issues: 1) the current degree navigator system was not only ugly visually, but also painfully difficult to navigate around and use. We wanted to create an elegant, easy, and fluid way for engineers to quickly gauge where they are and what path they need to take to complete their major. 2) Users needed more information readily available information on what courses they should take, such as difficulty and course discussions. Our planner allows for users to rate and talk about courses they have taken from our archive, which allows for future users to have a better understanding and idea of what they are in for. Moreover, the more users who use it, the more accurate it becomes.
The main design principle for our project has been about fluidity and ease of use. We didn’t want to clutter up the screen with a bunch of information, yet we didn’t want to leave the user to their own vices when it came to knowing what to do. Moreover, heavy use of databases was required in order to properly link courses together and indicate whether or not a course could be used to fulfill a requirement or not. Our website uses extensive use of common front end design elements (HTML/CSS) and also backend elements (MySQL/PHP).
Our main objective for this project was to provide easy to use and understand planning web application which helped improved upon current renditions. We wanted all incoming ECE engineers to see clearly what was required of them and not obfuscate anything. While we wish we could have extended this to all other majors, we are proud of our current work and see it as a wonderful asset to all those entering into the ECE field.