Polyratings may no longer be the only place to get the scoop on Cal Poly professors and courses.
A team of nine Cal Poly students created an online one-stop-shop for Cal Poly course and professor information, aggregating content from sites such as Polyratings while also providing their own native content like class ratings.
Sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, their product, Sqzee, offers an all-in-one source of information to aid students as they plan out future classes and navigate the registration process at the end of each quarter.
“We made [Sqzee] because we saw something we wanted in our academic career and we thought we could provide that to students at Cal Poly,” Sqzee team member and software engineering junior Andrew Cofano said.
Sqzee provides students with peer reviews of classes and professors as well as class discussion forums and the ability to see classes that their friends are enrolled in. Additionally, information such as the number of hours typically devoted toward the class and difficulty scale will be available on Sqzee.
According to aerospace engineering junior and Sqzee team member Sean Reilly, the website will offer “more metrics that define a class than what is currently provided to the public.”
Rather than replicate the critical tone of Polyratings, a preexisting site used by students to rate and review Cal Poly courses and professors, Sqzee creators aim to foster a helpful educational environment.
“Our product is focused on having constructive reviews that reflect Cal Poly and the students that go here,” Cofano said.
Comments will ultimately be moderated by Sqzee users: a feature currently in the works will allow students to up-vote or down-vote reviews.
“If it’s a disputed review, we’ll let students know that it’s unhelpful,” Cofano said. “It creates a lot of transparency.”
Reilly added that the goal was to preserve free speech “without feeling like you’re going to be harassed by the school for speaking your mind, but at the same time [having] a platform that’s actually helpful.”
Sqzee officially launched on Nov. 14 and garnered a total viewership of 4,000 to 5,000 people throughout the week. The product has been in development since October 2015 and has since entered the Hatchery, an on-campus program that fosters student entrepreneurship initiatives.
Development for the mobile app version is underway and the team also plans to implement two new features in the long-term, including a streamlined display of registration information and a marketplace for buying and selling textbooks.
“A lot of people will have the windows side-by-side, like Polyratings and PASS, to see what classes are open and what teachers they can take,” Cofano said. “We want to combine that into one spot.”
The name Sqzee comes from the team wanting to “squeeze” all the information from these different sources into one location, Reilly said, “kind of like orange juice.” The bottom-line is Sqzee will consolidate a multitude of academic logistics and platforms to facilitate the selection and planning of classes, while providing forums for class discussion and collaboration throughout the quarter.
Reilly hopes Sqzee will gather a consistent user base as the product continues to circulate.
“We’re hoping students take to it because you get what you give in terms of the product,” Reilly said. “We want it to be a community that will develop.”