UBCGrades v2: Electric Boogaloo

ubcgrades.com is getting a new update after a long period of inactivity!

Summary (aka TL;DR):

  • Updated user interface.
  • Grade data updated to include 2019S, 2019W, and 2020S.
  • Grade data now includes both Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
  • API moved to new endpoints with support for new and old data sources.
  • Old API is deprecated and will be decommissioned so please update your applications.

With that out of the way, let's dive in to some of the details:

Updated User Interface

I am not a front-end developer and don't claim to be one. Back when I made the site I decided to use that time to learn some HTML, JS, and CSS for fun (?) and while it looked OK it wasn't really coherent. This new website is based off of a template built by someone more experience and smarter than I am so hopefully the site is both easier to use a better to look at.

The website is indented for desktop usage, while using the Bootstrap responsive framework to make it minimally useable on mobile devices.

New Grade Data

When I created the original website back in the summer of 2019, I did it using data solely from what I call the PAIR Reports website, a website similar to UBCGrades, but each query required completing a CAPTCHA. I also built the website with only the interests of the students on the Vancouver campus in mind, mostly because I built the tool for myself and to satisfy my own curiosities. After I had created the site and deployed it for the Vancouver campus, the people at the Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR) disabled the website in favor of a new Tableau Dashboard which included a number of changes that wasn't directly compatible with the database models or statistics that I had created before. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I had only managed to retrieve the data for the Vancouver campus before PAIR Reports was shut down. Now students at the Okanagan campus can get in on the fun.

With the website updated to with an API that uses data from both the PAIR Reports and Tableau Dashboard, it has been fully updated to the latest grade data.

API Changes

The old API at https://ubcgrades.com/api is deprecated and will be removed from in service 30 days from this post. However, developers can keep the majority of their code the same by simply transitioning to API v1 at https://ubcgrades.com/api/v1. Course statistics is not available at that version, and developers must use v2.

Please refer to the API Reference for more information

Other & Future

Over the past year the website has seen over 50 thousand users and over 150 thousand page visits. The website is also Rank 1 for the keyword ubc grades. Thank you so much for your support!

While the majority of users are from Canada (89%), which makes sense, there are many of you outside (United States, followed by China and India). I'd love to hear how you're using the site when you're not on campus. Are high-schoolers using this?

In the future, assuming the people at PAIR don't move to a new dashboard, UBCGrades should be ready with new data on the day that they are released publicly. I'm also open to new ideas or other details/statistics you may want on the website. Please contact me or open up a Github issue for a feature enhancement!

UBCGrades Update 2021 Formula Sheets for some UBC Engineering courses

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