Online registration, which premiered this past Monday for seniors, is everything we had hoped for and more.
Despite a handful of technical problems – including one which forced the unveiling to be delayed a week – online registration turned out to be ergonomic and efficient.
The delay, which arose from compatibility issues between the second-party registration software and UR’s hardware and computer systems, raised many a skeptical eye among both students and faculty, who felt that a faulty registration system could have serious implications for students concerned about securing spots in required classes.
Any concerns were laid to rest with Monday’s release, as curious seniors found themselves easily navigating through menus of classes, with any pertinent information – such as meeting times, instructor, and course reference numbers – clearly displayed in a neighboring frame.
The registration site itself was easy to access, being appropriately located within the ACCESS link.
Required student information was kept to a minimum, if not already filled in, and subsequently users could typically find themselves combing through class options within a matter of minutes.
The point-and-click interface was ideal for this application, and the immediate response of the established schedule below the course list allows students to make any necessary changes on the spot.
Inevitably, a few problems remain with the system. One of the most frequent complaints thus far has been the distribution of necessary PINs for those classes that require them.
For whatever reason, some professors have refrained from promptly distributing the PINs, a pattern which is having an adverse effect on the schedules of students.
The implications of the delays in PIN distribution are rather ominous, as it opens the door for selectivity and preferential treatment.
Similarly, it introduces the possibility of students being shut out from classes on account of waiting for a PIN, be it for their desired class, or for another that they would’ve substituted in place.
Additionally, the rigidity of the programming doesn’t allow for occurrences such as enrolling in two classes that share the same time, a tactic which can be useful during tentative scheduling at the beginning of registration.
Despite these minor setbacks, the final product of UR’s online registration launch has been remarkably impressive, another notch in the belt of UR initiative for the fall of 2003.