Courseopedia launched at the beginning of this month but I’m just now looking at it because of Labor Day! Courseopedia describes itself this way: “Courseopedia is designed to eliminate tedious searches through multiple online college catalogs, alert adult learners to local colleges and private educational resources they might otherwise not know about, and provide a central location for browsing and discovering classes of interest.” Right now it’s limited to just California schools (but already it’s got over 50,000 courses from over 50 city and community colleges) but it plans to expand to nationwide. The URL is http://www.courseopedia.com.
The front page offers you a simple keyword/zip code search, or you can go through topic lists in several categories, including vocational, health, computer, science, art, etc. Additional tabs at the top of the search allow you to search for programs and schools, while two other tabs let you look at a career guide and either leave or search for comments about schools/programs/courses.
(If that simple keyword/zip search is not enough, there is an advanced search option that lets you search using commonsense elements like whether the course is online or not, and more esoteric factors like the instructor’s first name!)
I did a search for Hair and 90210 and got a results lists that looks like this:
You’ll see that the information returned includes course numbers, dates, times, and where the course is being offered. I was kind of surprised to see all those “Chairside Techniques” courses — those are courses for dental hygienists — so I wondered if Courseopedia finds keywords inside other words. I did a search for airsi and I got the same “Chairside” courses. So if you use shorter words or keyword strings that show up inside other words, don’t be surprised if you get unusual search results.
There’s more detail besides what’s offered on this one screen shot. Click on the title of the course and you’ll get a course description, contact information for the institution offering the course, and prerequisite information. With some courses I saw things like uniforms being required, but I never saw information about required textbooks. Considering how much books cost and how much they can add to the expense of an education, this seems like an unfortunate omission.
There is already a great deal of information here and Courseopedia is only covering California! I’m looking forward to more extensive offerings. Be careful about your search terms, though.