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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

Office of the Registrar tests new registration planning tool

The Office of the Registrar is testing a new class registration tool — ND Academic Planner — that will be available to students during course registration for the Fall 2018 semester. The tool is intended to simplify the process of searching for courses, planning schedules and registering for classes.

The Office of the Registrar collaborated with student government to create the planner and is receiving feedback from a group of around 40 students who are testing the tool during this semester’s registration process. University registrar Chuck Hurley said planners such as Coursicle and Schedulizer inspired the tool during the design process.

ND Academic Planner's uniqueness, Hurley said, lies in its integration with Banner, Notre Dame’s registration program.

“[We] wanted to build something that was actually integrated with Banner because students will go to Coursicle and then they’ll have to print it out or write it down,” he said. “This will help students into all of our Notre Dame data there. So we’re really optimistic about it.”

Senior associate University registrar Amika Micou said the integration with Banner is tool's most popular feature thus far.

“That always gets a round of applause the first time someone sees it,” she said. “I think it’s the thing that we’re doing that nothing else is or can do. So they’re very excited about that, and the whole planning side of it is something that we’ve heard is missing from the tools that we’re providing them now.”

This integration with Banner will allow students to add entire schedule plans to their official schedules with two clicks, Hurley said.

“Basically, instead of typing in the five CRNs or searching and then clicking on ‘add’ and things like that, it would allow you to apply these plans [as a whole],” he said.

With the new planner, students will be able to search for courses by attributes such as subject, requirement or professor and add them to a potential schedule, which includes a visual representation of the schedule plan. Students can create up to five hypothetical plans, a number Micou said came out of discussions with students about the tool.

“That was a discussion point,” she said. “So every time we had these small groups with student government, we said, ‘What number seems about right?’ Because we all agree that if you get too many out there it gets overwhelming, and five just seemed about right for them. It’s not too many, not too little.”

However, Hurley stressed that creating these plans does not automatically register students for classes.

“One of the keys, though, is that students still need to understand they would still need to go in at their time ticket and register,” he said. “Creating a plan does not automatically register a student for classes. It’s no different than looking up classes in class search right now, or going to Coursicle, or Schedulizer or something like that and creating some test plans. … Classes will be full, things like that, but it integrates the planner with registration.”

Hurley said the creation ofND Academic Planner was largely student-guided. The Office of the Registrar tried to incorporate student requests into the planner.

“We started kind of with a blank slate and said … ‘If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to build plans in registration?’” he said.