LORIS registration runs smoothly

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Course registration for 2015-16 at Wilfrid Laurier University began June 22, and for the majority of cohorts, went rather smoothly.

Students were pleased to find the LORIS site, Laurier’s online registration and information system, intact and were able choose their required courses in a matter of minutes.

Kenneth Boyd, director of information and communications technologies solutions, believes this has been the best year his team’s ever had.

“Last year we had some issues with some of the classes. This year all of that was resolved,” he said.

Changes made to LORIS included a better set up with time tickets, upgraded servers that run 10 times faster and diskless storage for high volumes of information.

“We monitored the tweets this year quite closely; we didn’t see a single negative one related to the system,” Boyd said.

Service Laurier had staff members working through registration nights to deal with immediate resets and questions.

ICT also introduced a new visual schedule builder, which allows students to visually construct their course calendars with their preferred times and days.

Shelagh Pepper, manager of student information systems, pushed for the university to purchase the visual schedule builder. Since it became available to students in February, the builder has been used over 50,000 times.

“People all across campus, like academic advisors, were thrilled with it. Every student I’ve showed it to has been thrilled. The old way was just so painful really,” said Pepper.

“It had really good updates by the students and I think that was one of the indicators as to why everything went well this year,” Boyd said about VSB.

Luck soon ran out however, when course restrictions were lifted on July 6. When students began registering for electives and courses outside of their major, the system began to slow down.

“[The] system started off really well as 384 students registered for 714 courses in the first five minutes,” said Boyd via email. “Then our database had issues and the system bogged down. LORIS never stopped but was very slow.”

The problem took the ICT team 30 minutes to clear up and students able to register their classes at a fast pace. By 1:15 AM, over 1,200 students had registered for courses.

The ICT team responded to tweets written by frustrated students throughout the 30-minute interval to let them know the issue was being resolved.

“We know what happened and it won’t happen again next year,” said Boyd. “Next year we’ll be making even more changes, we’ll always be working on the system and keep looking for ways to make it better.”

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