Glitches in Online Registration Addressed

by Jake Hawkins
Staff

Hold the long lines and missing classes, and substitute server crashes and slow loading times. The new system of online registration at Transylvania University was introduced, but not without glitches.

On Monday, seniors slated to be the first wave of students to register were met with slow connections and, in some cases, error screens.
Junior Andrew Weinberger was one student who faced some problems.

“Online registration was at first a failure for me as the system crashed when I tried to register,” Weinberger said. “However, when I went into the Registrar’s Office that morning to get help, the staff was able to better see to my needs as they were not being hounded by a plethora of other students at the same time as me.”
Registrar Jim Mills acknowledged these problems.

“We did have a couple of technical difficulties the first day which brought everything to a screeching halt,” Mills said. “Each had to do with demands on the computer system and how resources were being allocated. It took about a half hour to sort them out and get things back up and running,”

Director of Information Technology Jason Whitaker said some of the problems were not unexpected.

“We expected it to be sluggish. We didn’t expect it to go down, but I think we got it. By lunch (Monday) we were up and rolling,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker explained that the server experienced load and volume issues that could not be completely simulated before registration opened.

“Every school that we have ever talked to that has begun online registration in the last few years has said that (would happen),” said Whitaker.

Improvements to the new system are already being deliberated that would introduce more new features to the registration process.

“We hope to get rid of the lengthy paper trail and time-consuming process of course passes. … The system we use has tools to do this,” said Mills. “An even bigger step will be developing a ‘wait-list’ system. This will allow us to prioritize who first gets into a class that had previously been full.”

Mills also reflected on the process as a whole.

“In general, the process and support system has worked as well as we could probably have hoped,” Mills said. “Of course, registration practices will continue to evolve. What we want is for students to get the classes they need in a convenient way, and for the very valuable commodity of college classes to be used as efficiently as possible.”

Sophomore Barbara MacNeill weighed in on online registration, too.

“Online registration was definitely an improvement because it took the hassle out of registering,” said MacNeill. “The only issue I had was that when I pressed the register button the first time TNet logged me out and I lost the last spot in one of my classes.”

Though he had problems, Weinberger was optimistic about the future of online registration.

“I believe that once they get the kinks worked out in the system it should save students time and be more convenient if students cannot go the Registrar’s Office during their allotted time. This also will make the staff members in the office be able to serve the needs of students better who need additional help during registration, as their attention is not being diverted elsewhere.”

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