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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    WebReg hassles beat alternative

    Every student knows the feeling. Their alarm blares at 6:58 a.m. and they scramble out of bed to boot up their computer at 7 a.m. on the dot and the struggle begins.

    The web registration process at the UA is one that leaves students scrambling for days and sometimes weeks trying to find the classes they need, but according to Beth Acree, the UA’s interim registrar, this system is far superior to any of the alternatives.

    As recently as 10 years ago, students had two options when it came to registering, Acree said.

    Students could use the RSVP phone registration system, in which students registered for classes using their phones’ touchpads, or they could use the old-fashioned method of waiting in line to register; the Web dwarfs both options, Acree said.

    “”The biggest benefit is the convenience factor,”” she said. “”A student can register from home or from wherever – potentially whenever.””

    Some of that convenience comes at a price, though, as oftentimes, everyone has the same set of priorities when it comes to selecting what classes they want to take, Acree said.

    “”If you have a choice, you are going to choose the schedule that’s the most convenient, that puts you on campus the least amount of time, and if everyone has those same priorities, then obviously everyone is going to be vying for the same classes,”” Acree said.

    The key to getting classes is to sign on to WebReg as soon as your registration opens and get as many classes as you can, said Taegen Kroski, a psychology junior.

    “”As far as my experience (with WebReg), it has been pretty positive,”” Kroski said. “”Just get in faster next time, make sure I have a couple classes extra, so I can switch them out, and if I don’t like them, I can drop some of them.””

    The fact that many students such as Kroski will sign up for extra classes, with no intention of taking them, is a major cause for concern at a time when the university is trying to limit wastefulness, Acree said.

    “”There are a couple of initiatives that are being reviewed right now by the undergraduate education council, and … they are looking at ways to free up seats that are being used inefficiently,”” Acree said.

    One possible solution is to ask teachers to post the class syllabus before students sign up for their classes, so that they can make a more informed decision about each individual class, she said.

    The other answer is one that would appeal to very few people within the university community, she said.

    “”The one thing that would really help this, that nobody would like, is for us to register people in classes,”” Acree said. “”Then we could be the most efficient in making sure we have used every hour of the day, every day of the week.””

    Kroski said that because she uses a wheelchair, the fact that she can access WebReg from anywhere is a major plus.

    “”For people like me with disabilities, it is a lot easier to go online,”” Kroski said. “”You don’t have to schedule to go somewhere and meet somebody; it is a lot more helpful.””

    The overall goal of the registration process is to give everyone a chance to get the classes they need, Acree said.

    “”There has been a lot of attention paid to trying to make it as fair as possible and trying to make it as successful as possible,”” Acree said.

    She said that just because certain students may have a later registration time slot does not mean there will not be any remaining classes.

    “”In priority registration, as well as the freshman orientations during the summer, seats for (general education) courses are released at each time segment, allowing everybody to have an opportunity to get some of those classes,”” Acree said. “”Each college or department uses their own formula to figure out how to do this.””

    Even with the hassles that sometimes arise, WebReg has its distinct advantages, she said.

    Students have the ability to be very selective when choosing their classes, as the web allows them to have far more control over their schedule than under any other system, Acree said.

    “”Students are in kind of a consumer mode,”” Acree said. “”We’re allowing them some choice to decide when they want to take classes and to a certain extent the order in which they want to take classes.””

    Nathan Hilton, an undeclared freshman, believes that WebReg’s constant accessibility is what makes it most convenient for students, he said.

    “”I always miss priority registration, but other than that, picking up classes and making a schedule is easy for me,”” Hilton said. “”I just sit back and check it every day, and whenever something pops up that I want, I snag it.””

    Hilton said that when he is looking for classes, he will check WebReg immediately after he wakes up and then check it between three and five other times throughout the rest of day.

    Hilton said that this year, he plans on taking advantage of his priority registration time slot because he knows what a hassle it could be if he misses it.

    “”I want to try and get a schedule I want, because I just got lucky this year,”” Hilton said.

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