GPAs – they can determine whether a student secures that next scholarship or gets into graduate school. Now a new application, called the GPA Calculator will help all U of T students easily calculate their grades and plan ahead for academic success.
“Through ongoing interviews and usability tests, we discovered the need for this calculator,” says Michael Clark, manager of User Experience and Process Design with U of T’s Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI). “This tool allows students to easily type in their pre-existing GPA from ACORN and predict their future grades.”
The calculator is readily available to all students. Students can calculate their sessional, cumulative and annual GPAs, and the application also recommends resources, including academic advising, writing centres, workshops and career advising.
“We wanted to make the application as flexible as possible,” says Laura Klamot, a user experience designer with EASI. “We always try to help students with their next steps. If their GPA isn’t what they want it to be, they can find an academic advisor and writing workshops.”
Klamot worked with Adnan Bhuiyan, a co-op student, who joined EASI for the summer.
“I normally study back-end development, but for this application I worked on front-end development and user experience design,” says Bhuiyan, a third-year U of T Computer Science student. “The tool’s designed to be accessible via keyboard only, via screen readers, as well as other assistive technology. An additional amount of design, development, testing and refinement work went into making this tool mobile and desktop optimized.”
Beyond his co-op experience, Bhuiyan also plans to use the application.
“I’m close to graduating, and my GPA can potentially give me a competitive edge when applying for jobs. Also, if I ever plan to apply for graduate school, I now have a tool that can easily help me plan ahead.”
Fellow third-year student Ramana Trivedi, from the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, agrees. “In my first year I was lost when trying to track my GPA because I was using a spreadsheet – it was a huge waste of time. I’m currently applying to medical school, and my GPA is really important. Now I can finish my calculations in a matter of minutes.”
What’s next for the application?
“After launching the calculator, we’ll collect feedback and plan future enhancements,” says Clark. “We’re constantly focused on the student experience, and we want to make it easier for students to achieve academic success.”