Web site takes the tangle out of scheduling

Allison Smith

Students can pick classes, stay organized

Alicia Durewicz hates FlashLine.

That’s one of the reasons the Kent State junior started using Schedulizer, a Web site that gives students a different way to schedule their classes.

“You pick your classes, and then it comes up with all of the possible schedules you can pick,” said Schedulizer CEO Jay Searson. Kent State’s course schedule is one of the most recent additions to the site.

He said the Web site does more than just put together schedules. Students can enter recurring events such as work times, and Schedulizer will organize classes around that event.

Durewicz is a biology and pre-med major and has used Schedulizer to help organize her classes.

“I like how it shows me all the possibilities of schedules I can have, so I can pick and choose which times are best for me,” she said. “With FlashLine, there’s always some problem, like I can’t get registered for a class because of some prerequisite that I actually already have. It seems to just have a lot of problems.”

Searson said if a student needs to make an appointment with an adviser or professor, it is much easier to e-mail them a link to an image of a schedule than to send a list of available times.

“One of the really great features is that it allows you to share your schedule,” Searson said. “This is the sort of feature that seems like it’s not really worth anything right up until the point when it is.”

The Web site was developed by Ross Skaliotis, a Cornell University alumnus who realized the university didn’t have a program to help students schedule classes. Skaliotis was offered a job with Google and decided to sell the Web site to Searson in November 2007.

“I had heard about Schedulizer because I first used it as a student (at Cornell),” Searson said. “And I realized, ‘Boy, this thing is amazing. This should be everywhere.'”

Marene Sanders, the director of undergraduate programs for the College of Business and Administration, said she had never heard of the Web site.

Advisers are always happy when something makes it easier for students to schedule their classes, she said.

Searson said most of the revenue from the Web site is from textbook sales.

“We have a deal with Amazon where we will send our users an e-mail at the beginning of the year saying, you know, ‘Here’s your schedule, here are your books, click here to buy them all from Amazon.com.’ And, people like that a lot,” Searson said.

At the beginning of 2009, only 10 schools’ course schedules were available. Now students from 35 schools can use Schedulizer.

“We get a really tremendous number of requests to add universities during the October-November period because of pre-registration,” Searson said. “Actually, that’s why we added Kent. About three people wrote in and said, ‘We really want you guys to add support for us.'”

Searson said the biggest advantage to Schedulizer is the amount of time it saves.

“In our studies, we usually find that the average person without Schedulizer takes 45 minutes to an hour, and with Schedulizer it takes about five minutes,” Searson said. “Life is short, and no one wants to spend it curled up over a piece of paper in the dead of night working on some schedule.”

Contact technology reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].