HelloClass provides students instant access to course openings
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012 16:01
Luqmaan Dawoodjee, a junior majoring in marketing, doesn't like constantly checking the Office of the Registrar's website to see if seats open in a closed course during drop/add week.
Now, he doesn't have to.
Last semester, Dawoodjee created a software program that would send him text messages anytime a spot opened up in a class he was interested in. Dawoodjee opened the service, called HelloClass, last week to any student who wants to be alerted about open seats in courses.
"I've been waiting for seats and I hate having to refresh the page," he said. "It's the dumbest thing in the world. It's a waste of my time. It's a waste of other people's time. … Why should you sit there and keep refreshing the page?"
Students can sign up for the service at helloclass.createchwebdesign.com, where they enter the CRN number for their desired courses, cell phone number and service provider.
When a class opens, a text should be automatically sent within minutes, Dawoodjee said, though time delays are still being ironed out because the service is still in its developing stages. When a seat is filled, HelloClass will alert all subscribers interested in that course.
Adam Gebarin, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering, heard of the service from Dawoodjee, who said he did little to advertise the site other than post a message on the "Createch USF" Facebook page and send a few text messages to his friends.
"I desperately wanted to get into a humanities class, so I decided to give it a shot," Gebarin said. "I inserted four or five classes onto the website and went to sleep. Later the next morning, I received a text message at 4:50 a.m. saying that the public speaking class that fit my schedule perfectly had just received an open spot. While still in bed, I registered for the class from my phone and went right back to sleep."
HelloClass currently has 80 subscribers trying to enroll in 400 different courses and there is no limit to the number of users the software can support, Dawoodjee said.
Though HelloClass is free, Dawoodjee said he has considered offering a premium version of the software for a fee. A premium service would send faster text messages and allow students to bid to be the only user who would receive a notification text message when a class opens, he said; however, it will not be launched this semester.
Dawoodjee created Createch, a consulting company for software projects and web design, in 2010. Createch's current president, Petr Bambasek, said HelloClass is a service similar to some offered at other universities.
"I know universities that send students emails about open seats in classes automatically, but because there is not such a service offered at USF, HelloClass is filling the gap," he said. "It was absolutely needed at USF."
Dawoodjee said he isn't sure if USF administrators would have a problem with HelloClass. If they do, he'll shut it down, he said. If not, he'd hope to see USF create a similar service.
Because USF has direct access to the database, it would be easy to let students know via text when a class has opened up as they send out MoBull alerts, he said.
"Next semester if the IT hasn't created one, and if we don't get in trouble for this, we'll create a non-beta version," he said.