Choosing classes can be a stressful process, but some students are finding it extra difficult due to a new registration interface.
On March 8, the Binghamton University Registrar announced updates to the registration process, including an interface with “enhanced functionality” which highlights classes with time conflicts or waitlists. Some students, however, feel the process has been made more confusing — the interface has a maximum of 50 classes on a page, and also cannot be used in conjunction with College Scheduler, a tool commonly used by students in the registration process.
The change occurred after the University upgraded its student information system, Ellucian Banner. Banner is a software package commonly used in higher education, with BU using the system for finances, human resources and student and financial aid systems. According to Amber Stallman, the registrar and assistant provost for student success, the upgrade was necessary, as the older version of the software was eventually going to be discontinued.
The University had emailed students on March 16 to clarify the change, including instructional videos by Assistant Registrar Jayne Burlingame.
“I encourage all students to review the videos in advance of their registration time,” Stallman wrote in an email. “Jayne did a nice job breaking a lot of content into snippets of information that can be easily consumed by the topic in just a few minutes.”
Some students, like Amy Held, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, found the new layout hard to navigate. Held had not yet registered for classes, but said she would have to adjust to the new interface.
“It’s definitely hard using the same system for the last three years that I’ve been here and then changing it up,” Held said. “It is a little confusing, and I know that they are putting resources to try to help us, but it’s hard to get advising appointments sometimes at [BU], so [those] extra resources and support during this time would be helpful.”
The page adds a new feature, however, in its “plan ahead” option, which allows students to preselect courses prior to their registration slot.
Other students voiced issues with College Scheduler, a tool students would — in prior years — use to plan out their schedule before confirming their classes. With the new system, students cannot have College Scheduler up at the same time as they are registering for courses.
Stallman said information regarding College Scheduler was available in one of the instructional videos, and that its usability was still simple, though different.
“Students using College Scheduler will find their ‘registration cart’ in the plans section of registration and are able to easily register with just a few clicks of a button,” Stallman wrote.
A total of 11 instructional videos accompanied the introduction of the new interface, ranging from information on course withdrawal to guidelines on adding oneself to a waitlist.
Daniel Mygan, a junior majoring in economics, said that — while the new system will be an adjustment — he feels it is something he can get used to.
“The old system I liked how everything just showed on one page,” Mygan said. “The new one took a second to figure out how to get all the details up, and that made it a little harder to figure out all the details about the classes — I didn’t think it was too much of a problem, but I would’ve preferred if they just kept it the other way.”