Web site uses unknown sources

Students from USF and more than 250 other schools can view grade distributions by professor, course and department with the help of campusbuddy.com. However, it is unknown whether the site’s information is accurate or how it was obtained.

CampusBuddy is also a social tool where users can connect to people in their classes, major or campus, said Mike Moradian, the site’s founder.

CampusBuddy was built on a Facebook platform that allows users to log in and view grades without filling out any forms, Moradian said. It also allows users to see their courses on their home page.

Moradian said that 40 percent of the U.S. college demographic on Facebook will be able to use information provided by the site.

“The grade distribution shows exactly how every professor graded other students,” Moradian said.

The site presents all official data from universities as the schools provide it, he said.

Moradian said that schools are legally obligated to provide the information, but that it is not always an easy process to obtain it.

“Some schools are harder than others to acquire information from, sometimes taking six months to a year to provide (information),” he said.

According to the CampusBuddy Web site, official USF records are the source for the grade distributions displayed on the site.

CampusBuddy purports to “(feature) the largest, most up-to-date, and most detailed analysis of official grades found anywhere.”

Despite such claims, assistant dean of students Kevin Banks and Office of the Registrar lead enrollment management specialist Cynthia Pumphrey hadn’t heard of the Web site.

“I can’t see how the University would be releasing any academic information to any Web site,” Banks said. “This is information that we just wouldn’t release.”

Class profiles and graduation and retention rates are public information and can be found on the USF Web site, Banks said. However, student grades are not made public.

“I can’t see them (CampusBuddy) getting the blessing of the deans of the colleges (to release student grades),” Banks said.

According to the Web site, CampusBuddy takes the mystery out of grades, making it easier to focus on learning.

However, without comment from Moradian on how CampusBuddy obtains its information, what remains a mystery is where the grade distributions on the site actually came from.

CampusBuddy has been compiling data from schools since 2005, Moradian said.

“We have been working on this for over three years now, compiling information from hundreds of schools and sometimes waiting very patiently,” Moradian said. “That’s why we hope students appreciate our efforts to provide such information for everyone to use.”

The site can also be used by high school students to view colleges’ average SAT scores and admission rates, Moradian said.

It also gives high school students the opportunity to interact with college students by getting feedback on the application process and overall college experience, he said.

“It seems like a more objective version of RateMyProfessor — it’s based more on solid facts and numbers than student opinion,” said Steven Berry, a senior creative writing major.

Rebekah Modisette, a junior accounting major, said CampusBuddy is a site she would look at because it gives insight on how professors grade.

“The worst thing is when you get into a class and the professor is just horrible,” she said.

“That (CampusBuddy.com) sounds really cool, I would definitely check that site out before picking between two professors,” said Nicki Fischer, a sophomore microbiology major.