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New registration system replaces Schedule Planner

new-academic-planning-system

By Amy Qin     8/27/19 10:23pm

An upgraded registration system was rolled out during Orientation Week and faced several glitches, according to a joint statement by the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Academic Advising and the Office of Information Technology.

The system includes a visualization feature, assuming the function of the Schedule Planner website currently used by students to organize their schedule before official registration. Schedule Planner was temporarily disabled during O-Week to minimize confusion.

“The plan will be to retire Schedule Planner as we push into Spring 2020 registration,” the statement read. “The new system will essentially collapse the registration screen, course search features and Schedule Planner functions all into one.”



Scott Cutler, the creator of the Schedule Planner website and a professor in the computer science department, said he believes Schedule Planner is a “faster, more intuitive” means of schedule planning. 

“More importantly for me, Schedule Planner can be used by faculty,” Cutler, a computer science major advisor and former engineering major advisor at Duncan College, said. “The new registration system is only available to students and not faculty.”

Cutler said he supports the creation of a new system but suggests that Schedule Planner be integrated into the program.

According to the statement, all students will use the new system to register for their Spring 2020 classes. Incoming freshmen and transfer students have already used the new system to register for their fall semester classes during O-Week. 

The OTR and the OAA met with peer academic advisors in the spring to obtain feedback about the new registration system, according to the statement.

“Students communicated the importance of being able to plan out their schedule, search by [various parameters],” the statement said. “In addition, students wanted a visual representation of their schedule, links to course and instructor evaluations and other miscellaneous details about courses, all within one window.”

Joshua Anil, an O-Week PAA at Baker College, said that in addition to testing out the new registration system in the spring semester and providing feedback, the O-Week PAAs received a thorough training on the new system during advisor training.

Ethan Schweissing and Michelle Nguyen, the student directors of the PAA program, said that overall they believe the new registration system is an improvement from its predecessor, especially with its feature of combining Schedule Planner and course registration into one program.

A drawback of the new system, according to Anil, is that the new system does not support backup class registration. In addition, he said a “decent number” of glitches arose with the system during O-Week.

“Since the new system was so much faster than its predecessor, the new students’ schedules were released at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, while the OAA and O-Week PAAs were not expecting schedules to be released until Friday morning at 7:00 [a.m.],” Anil said. 

Anil said another glitch, which the OIT quickly resolved, allowed new students to waitlist classes during O-Week before the add/drop period had started. According to Nguyen and Schweissing, a few more issues with logging into Esther and waitlisting classes arose during add/drop.

According to David Tenney (Sid Richardson College ’87), the University Registrar, the OAA held a debrief session on the Friday morning of O-Week with the PAAs in order to solicit feedback. The OAA is working on addressing glitches and items of confusion for Spring 2020 registration, including the new system’s restriction on registering for classes for which students had equivalent Advanced Placement credit.



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