Yale University made news last week when administrators abruptly blocked a student-created website that combined information from the school’s official course evaluations and course catalogue.
The motivation behind twin brothers and Yale seniors Peter Xu and Harry Yu’s site — Yale Bluebook+, or YBB+ for short — was to give students a cleaner interface than Yale’s official website and make it easier to access various information about a course. “In particular, students could sort courses by numerical ratings given by students in previous semesters,” The New York Times reports.
Not only did YBB+ use information exclusive to Yale’s official website, but in the views of university administrators it also “gave undue prominence to the numerical ratings without including the descriptive evaluations that went with them,” according to The Times. After three semesters of helping students plan their schedules, Yale blocked YBB+ from university servers last week.
Then, this weekend, Yale senior Sean Haufler posted a now-viral column — opening with “I hope I don’t get kicked out of Yale for this.” — that introduced Banned Bluebook, a Google Chrome extension that allowed students to view course evaluation data within the school’s official course selection website.
It’s important to note that all of this information is available to Yale students, with or without Haufler’s extension. However, the students don’t have the ability to sort this information and view the course listing as a list of “hardest” and “easiest” classes.
When asked by Business Insider for comment, Dean of Yale College Mary Miller directed us to two open letters to the Yale community, where she explained the administration’s viewpoint:
The information at the center of this controversy is the faculty evaluation, which Yale began collecting, not as a course selection tool, but as a way of helping faculty members improve their teaching. When a faculty committee decided in 2003 to collect and post these evaluations online for student use, it gave careful consideration to the format and felt strongly that numerical data would be misleading and incomplete if they were not accompanied by student comments.
While the extension is technically allowed by Yale’s policies, the university’s Dean of Strategic Communications Paul McKinley confirmed to The Yale Daily News that “the University does not support the way Banned Bluebook presents course evaluations.”
With this in mind, here are the 10 easiest and 10 hardest classes at Yale University, based solely on their workload rating as presented by Banned Bluebook.
These are the 10 Yale classes with the least workload:
And these are the 10 classes with the highest workload:
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