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During distance learning, students were introduced to Infinite Campus for complete proof of residency and student registration. Flash forward a few months: Infinite Campus is replacing School Loop as the default portal for students. School Loop is something we’ve used since middle school. We used it to check our grades, assignments, attendance, documents, and email our teachers. I wish I could have enjoyed the switch to a potentially superior student portal, but with what we were given, I would rather have just stuck with School Loop.
Infinite Campus does most things that School Loop does; however, those are all just half-hearted attempts. It’s as if they had a features list that they wanted to lengthen so they threw random things in. It does a lot of things worse than School Loop and it’s all packaged into a confusing website. To begin, if a student was visiting School Loop, they would not need to click on any other page most of the time because what they were looking for was already on the home page. Grades, calendar, assignments, attendance, and schedule were all properly organized on the home page. This made School Loop a simple website to use.
Infinite Campus, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. They have nine main tabs, and a 10th tab for “more” tabs. A lot of the tabs are unnecessary. For example, look at the two tabs “Grades” and “Grade Book Updates.” There was no need to separate the two tabs when they could have intuitively combined them. It makes me wonder if they insisted on confusing their users instead of helping them.
They also pretend that their homepage is useful, while really only previewing all the useful features and giving you a separate tab to deliver the rest of it. Had they included a calendar that showed you everything you needed to know for the next week or month, the home page would have been useful.
Instead, they gave us assignments due today, which hopefully have been finished by then, assignments due tomorrow, which are often empty because teachers never use it, and a schedule for the day, which I would only use if it was my first day of school. When students go to other tabs, they’re met with a messy interface that looks about as organized as my notebook from 2nd grade.
The assignments tab either only shows you assignments that were due previously or teachers don’t use it to actually tell you what you need to do, because you often won’t see any assignments due after the current day. Grade book updates aren’t categorized by class, but rather by the date the score was updated, so it ends up looking like a mindless page for the purpose of saying that they show you recently updated scores. And I’m not even the only one that feels this way, there’s a change.org petition to return to School Loop with over 500 signatures.
Girija Patkar, a commenter, says, “Even after taking a lot of effort to learn it, I find it very user-unfriendly, cumbersome, time-consuming, overwhelming, and unnecessarily complicated,” and that’s probably the best way to put it. However, while I do dislike Infinite Campus, I won’t deny that they do a few things well. The Attendance tab is better than School Loop because it only shows you the days that you were absent or tardy. The Documents tab shows you your transcript without you having to request it and then wait for three days for your counselor to email it to you.
However, these are two minor things that don’t have a huge impact for students every day.
School Loop was by no means perfect, but at least it wasn’t this bad. The interface wasn’t designed to confuse you and there weren’t four tabs that served no purpose. While I will admit that Infinite Campus does well in a couple tabs, like Attendance or Documents, I know that the rest of the website ruins the experience for me enough to make me ask the question: What made us switch to this pile of garbage?
Advik Kunta is a senior at Washington High School and has lived in Fremont his entire life. This is his first year at the paper and he's excited to write opinion pieces. His hobbies include watching movies and TV shows, reading books, and playing video games. Some of his favorite movies include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. His future plans include going to college and majoring in Computer Science.