Course selection system altered

Graphic by Lena Yang

Graphic by: Lena Yang

Course registration at Wilfrid Laurier University is getting an overhaul to better meet the needs of students this summer. For the 2014-15 school year, time tickets designating when students can register in courses will be based on the amount of courses completed, rather than their academic year.

“We wanted to reduce the load on the system for the amount of students registering at any one time,” said Bryan Tinlin, acting associate registrar: records.

“We think this is going to improve the student experience.”

By decreasing the number of students in each time window for course registration, the hope is the server will operate more smoothly. That was the impetus that prompted the change.

“We recognize that one of the barriers when you have so many people registering in such a short period of time is that it can put stress on the system, so we were figuring out what we could do. By creating more time brackets that involved fewer people, the idea was that there would be a better experience when you go to register.”

The new time ticket system also requires students to have a better understanding of how many credits they have completed.

“We work on the assumption that students are as familiar with their record as us in the registrar’s office. To know your registration window, you need to know how many credits you have completed. Sometimes there is a discrepancy between what they think they are in, and what the rules and regulations say they are actually in. So this clears that all up.”

Certain students, such as those registered with the Accessible Learning Centre, will receive exceptions as to when they are able to register. This is done to acknowledge individual student needs.

“Most universities have specific guidelines for what it means to be a full-time and part-time student. With Accessible Learning, the whole idea is to address specific student needs. Fewer credits are required for them to be considered full-time students and the new ticket system will acknowledge that.”

Tinlin said that on top of the automated email send out to students last week through their MyLaurier account, there will be constant reminders through the school’s presence on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. At the end of June, the registrar’s office hopes to send out tailored email messages to each student to notify them of what their specific time ticket will be.

Students seem to be in favour of the change.

“Anything that is speeding up the process, it’s going to be good,” said Angela Wray, a fourth-year psychology student. “It makes more sense to do it by credits. If you take summer courses, it can take that into better consideration.”

“Maybe it’s a good thing they are making changes, because every single year this is something that people complain over, struggle over and they do need to make a change for sure,” said Jessica Abdilla, a third-year communication studies student. “If this system works better, that’s great.”

Tinlin said that while the new time ticket system is set to be a permanent change, it will be reviewed over time.

“As any system, if we find that system isn’t working, we have to address it from a number of perspectives. Whether it was the instructions weren’t clear, communication insufficient, technological problem. So we tend to look for a fix before we revamp the whole system.”

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