The Open Course Project is an Open Source system designed to improve many aspects of course registration and lookup at Christopher Newport University.
Source code for this website is hosted at https://github.com/OpenCourseProject/OpenCourse. If you're interested in contributing to the project by submitting code, filing bug reports, or suggesting improvements, your support is greatly appreciated!
This project is maintained by Adam Fendley and is unaffiliated with CNU or any specific university.
Through official University locations such as CNU Live and Schedule of Courses as well as third-party websites such as RateMyProfessor, Amazon, Chegg, and others, there are many different sources students use to plan their schedules each semester. The goal of this website is to provide a centralized location for all course-related information at CNU, merging data from all these sources into a single, simple website that meets today's Internet standards.
CNU has done a great job with their registration services. There are no glaring issues that exist that constantly cause problems for students. The systems that power these sites are clearly well-kept, and the school is to be commended for this. OpenCourse is not here to replace or to "fix" any problems whatsoever. The goal of the project is to make small changes, present data in a more user-friendly way, and to offer additional methods of browsing and planning.
With this in mind, a lot of careful development has been done to ensure that these two distinct systems stay seperate. This website does not offer any registration services nor does it attempt to subvert or replace any functionality of CNU Live. Because data is automatically scraped from various sources to populate this website, it could be temporarily out of date at any time. Furthermore, there's no budget for this project; everything that you see is volunteer work. There is always the possibility that something breaks and isn't noticed. Please use this resource for its intended purpose: planning, researching, and as a supplement to official University systems. Do not entrust your semester to any one non-CNU website, ever.
When using a third-party system such as this one, privacy of your personal information is an important topic.Personal Information
We believe that no more data than absolutely necessary should be collected at all, a reason you would never be asked for your student ID or anything similar. The following is the only personal information is collected by using this site:
Content can also be provided by you to improve your experience. This could include adding your Learning Community for display on your schedule, inputting your courses for a term, linking your Facebook account to show friends in your classes, and so on.
This content is shared at your discretion, and you control how it is sent. Your content, while not considered "secret" by man, is still "private" and should be kept that way. Content you provide is only viewed as necessary to fix problems with or improve the service, especially when reported by a user. In some cases to improve the service this content may be analyzed on an anonymized basis, such as counting how many courses have been scheduled by all users on the site to determine if the database needs to be upgraded.Automatic Information
In addition to information related to your account, there is a minor amount of data that is automatically generated when you use the service. This specifically includes log files, which are generated by the web server to keep track of pages which are visited and errors that occur. Log files contain records such as the web request, IP (Internet Protocol) address it is sent from, browser type, and similar information.
Analyzing these files helps to understand the popularity of certain features as well as where problems are occuring for users. These files are never shared with anyone and are archived after several days.
Security is one of the most important goals of this project. Not all people are concerned about the privacy of their schedule information, but for those who are it's been made a priority. Here are some details of what has been done to protect personal information:
Though the goal of this project focuses completely on CNU, the framework that has been created could apply to many universities. In order to populate the site with information from a different source, the custom management commands would need to be rewired to fetch from another location. Some other discrepancies could exist in how courses are labled, but a lot of the work is written to be generic.
If anyone has a plan to use the project in a new way, I'd love to know about it!